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Micah Looks to Add "Smooth" Moves to His Game 

25 May 2023:  Micah Parsons (11)    
of the Dallas Cowboys during an OTA  practice at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.   Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys
25 May 2023: Micah Parsons (11) of the Dallas Cowboys during an OTA practice at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas - In two seasons, Micah Parsons has unanimously won Defensive Rookie of the Year, earned two All-Pros and two Pro Bowl selections and was the runner-up to Defensive Player of the Year last season. 

But if anything has become abundantly clear with Parsons it's that he is simply neversatisfied with the end result.

Such is the case, he's been fairly active this offseason to add muscle and bulk, up to 250 pounds, compared to his playing weight last season from 245 lbs., but he's also gotten in the ear of former offensive linemen like Andrew Whitworth and Brian Baldinger to get a sense of how the opposition might attack someone of his status to get yet another edge.

"I'm really trying to get in the mind [of the] offense," Parsons said. "When I'm going against top guys like Andrew Thomas, Trent Williams, and these guys that I'm going to face in this NFC class and Lane Johnson, how are these guys playing me? What am I struggling with? I can't learn that from anyone else in the league. I have to learn that from a guy who has shut down guys like me before." 

Parsons is coming off a very strong second year in Dallas with a career high 13.5 sacks and 65 tackles, though the majority of those sacks came early on in the year before tapering off towards the backend of the year, something that he admitted was in part because of how long the season was.

"I would just really say I was going through the motions," Parsons said. "It was a really long year. Every week something new was coming up. It was really just the growing pains of playing a lot more defensive end and dealing with chips and not really having a plan and guys throwing me off my game.

"Smooth is fast. And don't be fast. Be smooth, man. Sometimes you feel like you have to do more to win. And you just have to be smooth. You see track runners look like they're not moving and they're smooth… So, this year I'm just focusing on being smooth and just durability and taking care of my body."

One of Parsons most valuable skill sets since he entered the league in 2021 has been his ability to be a roving chess piece for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn by splitting time at both linebacker and on the defensive line. Last season his snap count as a defensive end nearly doubled and by his own admission wore him down to a degree.

By the sound of it on Thursday afternoon following the Cowboys OTAs, Parsons could be in line to get back to being on the move more in 2023, much to the chagrin of offensive linemen across the NFL.

"I think that's a special ability that I have and why I want to incorporate it," Parsons said on moving around more. "We're doing a lot of special things and I don't want to give a lot away right now. But it's going to be a really cool year, I'm probably going to play like eight positions this year."

He's half kidding, maybe. But Parsons did joke that there is a jumbo package to be had for him on offense, while also saying that anything in the front seven or requires coverage is on the table for him, making him that much more menacing for opposing offenses. 

And despite making a name for himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the league over the last two seasons, Parsons said he has little interest in chasing a sack title this upcoming year. Instead, his offseason has been about finding ways to affect the game on every plan by any means necessary.

"I'm kind of off the sack wave," Parsons said. "I'm more on the impact wave. You see Aaron Donald and he could have 12 sacks but the impact he makes is so dominant. And you see guys who have 16 or 17 sacks, but they're not considered a 'guy.' I want to be a guy,not one of the guys.

"If you're always chasing then you're never achieving. I'm not chasing for something - I'm trying to achieve."

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