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Draft Central | 2021

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Eatman: Cowboys Get Win-Win With Parsons Pick


FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys got the highest-rated defensive players on their board.

They filled a huge position of need.

And oh yeah, they added a Top 100 pick in the process with a third-round pick.

So they had to make a trade with the Eagles to do so. In the long run, that really doesn't matter.

What does matter is the Cowboys got better at linebacker by taking the best linebacker in the draft.

You guys know I'm going to like this pick because I've been talking about Parsons for the last few months. Obviously, I don't study the draft like my colleagues, but the highlights I have seen are of a guy that knows how to get to the football. And when he gets there, he makes a big impact.

I don't know if you call anyone "unblockable" but every clip I saw was Parsons busting through the line of scrimmage either on a blitz or just his instincts that get him to the ball.

I get it, they won't be facing Purdue or Indiana every single week. But the Big Ten Conference is one of the best in the country so it's not like there is a question about the competition he faces. Like every player in this draft, Parsons will go up against blockers and ball carriers and tight ends and receivers and of course, quarterbacks that are on another level. So all you can go on is the tape – and I really don't know if there were many players that showed out more on film.

Personally, I think linebacker could be the biggest need of the entire draft for the Cowboys. Now, it was clear they thought cornerback was right up there, even higher. But I think linebacker shouldn't get overlooked.

Think about the long-term aspect of the position. Who knows what Jaylon Smith's situation will be come next season. And the same goes for Leighton Vander Esch, who hasn't had his fifth-year option picked up yet by the Cowboys. So the 2022 roster at linebacker is anything but clear.

Cornerback, defensive end and even safety seem a little bit more solid than linebacker. So why not get the best one?

As for trading with the Eagles, I wouldn't worry about having to guard DeVonta Smith with the Eagles. Not that he's not a great player but the Eagles jumped the Giants to get him. I think they knew New York might be interested in the Heisman Trophy winner. So facing him twice in Philly green is just a trade from playing him twice with the Giants blue.

But even Smith wasn't graded higher than Parsons.

Jerry Jones called him a "freak" player based off of his physical skills.

"I'm excited to have that rare player with a rare attitude," Jones said after the draft. "He can do a lot of damage or impact to the identity of this defense. He has that type of talent and rare skills."

Back in January, I was asked on a few times what kind of player the Cowboys should get.

I know people love to say "BPA" is the option. And sure, Best Player Available is always a great choice.

But to me, I think "BA" is the route the Cowboys should've gone. That's what they need. That's what they've been missing.

And from what we've seen on the film, Parsons is the "bad ass" type of player that should help this defense and help this team right away.

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