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Mailbag: Where Can Micah Make A 2nd-Year Jump?


Usually with good NFL players you see a solid to great second-year jump. What would a great second-year jump look like for Parsons' in both his stats and impact on the field? How much improvement do you see him having? — DARRYL CROSS / LARGO, FL

David: That's a fun question, because an improvement on 2021 would be quite a sight to see. For me, that would probably mean that he has even more comfortability doing a variety of different things. I don't need him to beat his rookie sack number, but hopefully he's good enough rushing the passer to still notch 8-10 sacks, if not more. On top of that, it would be wonderful if he develops in coverage enough to finish with more pass breakups and plays on the ball. Good coverage linebackers like Fred Warner and Bobby Wagner have had seasons with 8, 9 or even 10 PBUs, for instance. So, to summarize, I think I'd like to see him round his game and become an even more complete playmaker than he already is.

Rob: It's exciting to think about how much Parsons can grow as a pass rusher. What he did with a limited amount of reps there, and basically jumping into that role on the fly the second week of the season, is pretty remarkable. It doesn't sound like the Cowboys want to drastically increase his snaps there. They want him to continue moving around and exploiting matchups. But I think he could make a huge jump in his pass-rushing skill and technique even if he ends up with fewer sacks. You know teams are spending this offseason figuring out how to block him as a blitzer and edge rusher, but he can still affect quarterbacks with consistent pressure from a variety of places.

So far this year we have all been assuming the Cowboys will take an interior offensive lineman in the first round, but if Dallas does go wide receiver in the first round, who are some offensive linemen in the second or even third round to keep an eye on? Also, would a second or third rookie offensive lineman even be better than McGovern currently? — MATTHEW MCGINNIS / ST PAUL, MN

David: The second part of your question is always a great unknown. As highly as we might think of a draft prospect, there's never a guarantee that he can come in and beat a three-year veteran who's fighting for his job – especially if he's not a first-round pick. That said, if they look to draft a guard on Day 2, some names I'd keep an eye on are Darrian Kinnard out of Kentucky, Jamaree Salyer out of Georgia, Ed Ingram out of LSU or maybe Sean Rhyan out of UCLA.

Rob: Seems like a great time to plug the new Cowboys Draft Guide (available in both digital and print!). Seriously, it's a good question because we mostly just talk about Tyler Linderbaum, Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green as possible options in the first round. I'll defer to Dave on some Day 2 candidates, but the hope would be that any player taken in the first three rounds could compete with McGovern. I will say that every guard who has developed into a consistent starter for Dallas in the past 20 years has been drafted in the first or second round (Connor Williams, Zack Martin, Andre Gurode).

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