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Mailbag: Is Parsons talk with owner routine?


I saw where Micah Parsons talked with Jerry Jones at the Super Bowl about what kind of players he needs around him, including a "big old, nasty, pass-rushing" defensive tackle. Is it routine to have these conversations between owner and player? Is there a risk of Parsons alienating teammates with his comments? – Shawn Sullivan/Boston, MA

Nick Harris: These conversations are pretty standard with Jerry Jones and his star players, going back to when he took over the team over three decades ago. We've heard about similar conversations with Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb over the course of the last year, and those discussions help paint a clearer picture for both parties involved as far as what the team needs and what the front office can provide. With Micah Parsons, valuing his input is ultimately up to Jerry Jones, but that input helps both with the offseason. I don't think there's a risk of alienating teammates. For example, if Johnathan Hankins heard that conversation about a pass-rushing defensive tackle, he would probably agree. The needs are clear, and if your job is a sacrifice to that need, then the business of the game will just remind you really quick that continuing to elevate and address weaknesses in your game is necessary. Getting in your feelings about it wouldn't solve anything.

Patrik: I honestly think it's a huge positive that Jones regularly taps into the mind of his cornerstone players to try and gauge the pulse of what's needed, because most owners and/or general managers often wouldn't. It's a refreshing connection to see between Parsons and Jones, and it's also one that exists with others (e.g., Dak Prescott), so, no, don't view it as some sort of negative. I will also readily admit it's true that Parsons, as a player in a locker room, will have to be careful in walking the line between stating the obvious regarding personnel and, as you said, not alienating his current teammates. These are all professionals, though, so there is a way they can and should take his assessment of any respective position. They can look at it objectively and consider he might be correct and, if so, use it as added constructive motivation to level up and "prove him wrong". I mean, that's how I hope they would handle it, as opposed to feeling disrespected when, in my opinion, he's simply trying to make the team better. But, again, it's a razor-thin line for a player to walk publicly, and that's why most choose to not walk it.

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