Cowboys 2021 Rookie Report: Micah Parsons Joins the DPOY Conversation
Another game in the books where the Dallas defense led them to victory, which means another game in the books where Micah Parsons proved everyone wrong about whether he should have been the first pick of the Cowboys in the draft.
Even the people who liked the decision to take Parsons twelfth overall were wrong, because absolutely no one expected him to be so dominant so early on, and yet here he is. Parsons’ incredible play also made it harder for these other rookies to be appreciated, although they were also quite good even though they did not live up to the Lion’s expectations.
What is there to say? Parsons recorded two sacks, two hits on the quarterback, a loss tackle and several presses against the Washington football team. He also came close to registering his first career interception twice that day. Oh, and Fox’s broadcast team compared him to Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, the only player in NFL history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award as a rookie.
It’s a bit early to declare Parsons the next LT, but it’s time to discuss Parsons’ DPOY Prize win this year. His teammate Trevon Diggs also has a good point, but Parsons destroys offensive game plans multiple times per game all Game Diggs was phenomenal, but Parsons was more consistent.
League-wide, Parsons has some competition. brown on-board rusher Myles Garrett and
cowboys Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt is considered the leader at the moment, but Parsons continues to dominate. Washington’s offensive line had also played some excellent football this week, which should add to the prestige of its performance. And with the Browns and Steelers sitting on the verge of the playoff bubble right now, Parsons may have an opportunity to really emerge in this race.
Kelvin Joseph continues to play a key role in the Cowboys special teams, and he does that job very well. Dan Quinn mentioned last week that the team have a lot of confidence in the rookie, but Anthony Brown has played too well this year to knock him out. Brown should have had two picks against Washington, but that didn’t quite happen. Still, a special teams role is likely Joseph’s cap this year, barring injury.
Osa Odighizuwa had apparently hit a rookie wall for a while, and Quinn responded by reducing his number of snaps in the last few matches. Of course, Odighizuwa wasn’t meant to be a passing hunter until the Cowboys first drafted him, but injuries to Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill pushed the rookie into more action.
Hill and Gallimore are back now, and Odighizuwa is back in that specialized role. The first result is promising, because the old UCLA Bruin had a productive day against Washington. He only had two tackles, although one was a racing thing he associated with Gallimore. Odighizuwa has also shown some juice in the pass race, showing he could get a second wind as the Cowboys try to make a playoff push.
Chauncey Golston has played a vital role as Quinn’s versatile chess piece on this defensive line, as he has the ability to play inside and outside both running and passing. He continued to do exactly what he was asked to do on Sunday, although his two tackles don’t paint a picture of a difference maker. He’s particularly pale compared to all of the Cowboys’ other defensive linemen who have made splash plays, but Golston continues to be a rotating piece in the trenches.
Wright missed another game with COVID and was replaced by security Darian Thompson.
Jabril Cox is on reserve injured with an ACL tear.
Josh Ball is in the casualty reserve.
After adjusting the last two games with injuries as wide receiver, Simi Fehoko was inactive this week.
It can be difficult to really assess the effectiveness of Quinton Bohanna given that he doesn’t get too many shots in defense. And when he does, Bohanna’s job usually is to plug the middle of the defensive line on decay and redirect traffic to others. He was only on the field for seven defensive snaps this week as the Cowboys are now healthy for defensive tackles.
After being active and playing on special teams each of the past two weeks, Israel Mukuamu was back on the inactive roster this week, which more reflects the fact that this team is healthy atop the depths rankings than anything else. which has to do with the rookie. South Carolina security.
Matt Farniok was inactive this week, a relative surprise considering how often he’s been used for kick attempts this year.
With Tony Pollard not playing this week after tearing his plantar fascia, Hard knocks star JaQuan Hardy made his NFL debut after being on the year-round practice squad. He mostly played in special teams, although Hardy touched football twice.
Hardy got a carry, which he took from three yards, and then returned a 15-yard kickoff. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but Hardy has shown he can be counted on when needed. It is not yet known whether he was wearing contact lenses or glasses.