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Minicamp | 2024

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Micah talks offseason approach away from Cowboys


FRISCO, Texas — There's rightfully been a lot of discussion outside of the building regarding the absence of All-Pro receiver CeeDee Lamb, one that is now officially a holdout Lamb missing the first mandatory minicamp session on Tuesday, but Micah Parsons has also been away during the voluntary portion of the offseason — though for different reasons.

Speaking after the first mandatory practice, the All-Pro pass rusher took reporters on a colorful walk through his thought process in great detail.

"That's always been my style," said the three-time Pro Bowler. "I have been here [for voluntary workouts] since my rookie season. I don't think it's anything new. I have my own way of doing things."

That much is true, because Parsons, annually, finds new ways to train away from the facility in the offseason and this year has been no different — though it did involve new activities, such as going toe-to-toe with sumo wrestlers in China as an ambassador for the NFL.

But, unlike the situation with Lamb, there's been a lot of turnover on the defensive side of the ball and that includes a regime change from Dan Quinn to Mike Zimmer. For his part, however, Parsons made it known that he's not missed anything, evidenced by head coach Mike McCarthy's proclamation that the generational edge rusher has been "engaged" at every step of the way.

"Defense is defense," said Parsons. "I'm pretty much caught up on everything. … I really wasn't missing anything. I was just getting better, getting faster, getting stronger. Just doing what Micah does in the offseason — wrestling sumos. I just had fun."

And what of the coordinator change, considering reporting early would've given Parsons a chance to get an early start on what Zimmer has planned for the defense in 2024?

Healing his body has taken precedence over voluntary workouts, as he explained.

"I think that's what camp is for," said Parsons. "… We're in minicamp, voluntary at that [until now]. I'm just looking at letting my body heal. I'm an undersized rusher that gets banged up every year. I'm just letting my body heal and grow, strengthen, and get ready for the year.

"... Understanding the business side of it, too. This is all I have. This is all I have to offer to the Cowboys. Before you sign a contract, you go through a physical, before you're even on a team."

The 25-year-old used a good bit of his time away to reset his body.

"This is your engine, he continued, pointing at his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame. "This is where all of my equity lies. I have no other equity to offer them, and availability is the best ability. If I'm not available when it really matters because my body is not healing property or I didn't get all of the rehab I need to be successful, then that's on me. It's not on them.

"They'll just find the next me."

That is, of course, easier said than it is done but, in principle, he's not incorrect. So when it comes to things like his health, Parsons has balanced the needed physical reset with outings that have included several teammates over the past few months.

To him, that tidbit is for anyone wondering if he's negatively impacting the locker room chemistry.

"We don't just build relationships in the locker room," he said. "Me and Chauncey [Golston] just went to Colombia together, and Sam [Williams] was there, too. I don't think a locker room is the only way I build chemistry with my teammates."

The team is currently expected to depart for training camp on July 22, not to return until August 22, stretching camp to a total of 31 days and making it the longest training camp (in Oxnard) in the history of the franchise's station there.

"Ever watch 'Remember the Titans'?" asked Parsons. "We're gonna be in Oxnard for a very, very long time. There's gonna be a lot of chemistry [out there]. I think that's really the time when you see everything. It's hard to someone without pads or true contact, hand points — it's not even realistic when you can't touch each other without losing a draft pick or something like that.

"It's outrageous. It's just a lot of walkthroughs right now. From my position, where I'm at, it's a lot of individual [work] and I can be doing that by myself or with my trainer."

That has now mostly come to an end with Parsons now at minicamp and ramping up with Zimmer, his teammates and the entire staff in preparation for the next phase of the program in Southern California in several weeks from now.

For a player who has amassed 40 sacks in his first 50 NFL games, and infinitely more quarterback pressures, Parsons understands that it's all about not only continuing to do well on the field in all that he excels at doing, but to also find new ways to be dominant.

That's the formula to ensure that, when his time comes, he will also run into the same Brinks truck that Lamb is presumably about to make contact with.

"One day," said Parsons. "Time will tell. I can't really put a timetable on mine. All I've gotta do is keep getting sacks and that stuff is gonna handle itself."