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Offseason | 2024

Micah on Cowboys' contract talks, Zimmer signing


FRISCO, Texas — The disappointing, and humiliating, end to the 2023 season has the Dallas Cowboys scrambling to find solutions that will hopefully turn them from simply being a perennially-elite 12-win team in the regular season that implodes in the playoffs to a postseason contender, and keeping Micah Parsons around will definitely help that case.

The organization can open negotiations with the three-time All-Pro linebacker for the first time when the new league year opens on March 13, and the deadline to execute the fifth-year option on the former first-round pick arrives on May 2.

Parsons is currently comfortable handling the talks however the Cowboys see fit.

"I won't find anything out until March, to see if they have an interest in doing it," he told NFL Network.

**Also up for contract talks is CeeDee Lamb**, however, and considering Lamb's season in 2024 will be his fifth-year option, it's paramount the Cowboys get a deal done as soon as possible on the megastar wideout — particularly when factoring in the nearly $18 million cap hit the option is attached to.

Parsons understands the prioritization and is willing to defer for now, still making his intent to remain in Dallas for the entirety of his career loud and clear.

"I do know they've got to get CeeDee Lamb done," he said of the two-time All-Pro receiver. "I think that's the priority right now, but if they're ready to talk about a deal and get a deal done, I'd be super excited. I'm ready to be a Cowboy for life. This is the team I wanted to be with [pre-draft]. This is the team that I want to win a championship with, and what's meant for me is what's meant for me.

"I'm not gonna rush the process. I'm just gonna enjoy the process and keep working until it's time."

**The hope is that bringing in Mike Zimmer** on a reunion tour following the departure of Dan Quinn will help Parsons and the entire defense reach new heights in the postseason.

It's a unit that's been one of the best in the Quinn era at pressuring the opposing quarterback and taking the ball away, but both attributes were nowhere to be found when they were most needed in the wild card implosion against Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers.

For his part, Parsons, who formed a close relationship with Quinn over the past three seasons, is both sad to see the departure — to the Commanders, no less — but equally turned up over what Zimmer brings to the table in his return to Dallas.

"Just going off of the track record and what I'm seeing, he's done really well [in his career]," said Parsons. "From what I hear, he's a very good coach. I'm excited to meet him and to see what he has planned for my future. … "I think he's had a top defender in each period with the Cowboys, so it's gonna be real exciting."

The fix will truly begin with every one of the players under Zimmer coming together quickly to adapt a new coaching style, scheme and level of expectations from a proven coordinator who has a Super Bowl ring (with Dallas) on his resume and was head coach of a team that played in the NFC Championship as recently as 2017.

"I think it takes a collective group and everyone being bought-in," said Parsons. "From the higher ups to the coaches to the players to the practice squad, it doesn't matter who you are, I think everyone needs to be locked in. Everyone needs to buy in, and it starts with OTAs – how many people are we gonna get in there and learn this new system.

"How can we get the ball moving, and learn how to work together and maximize communication. Not shying from anything."

That's good to hear, because neither is Zimmer, and the best way to guarantee Parsons becomes the highest-paid NFL player ever, and in a Cowboys' uniform, is to make his fourth season one for the ages.

Yeah, for sure.

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