FRISCO, Texas – Randy Gregory might have been impressed by his rookie teammate, but he wasn't surprised. If anything, Micah Parsons' ability as a pass rusher is something Gregory has seen coming since at least July.
"I think I said it back in training camp: Micah can do whatever wants to do on the field," Gregory said on Friday.
So strong is Gregory's faith that he said, if given the opportunity, Parsons has the natural ability to rack up double-digit sacks this season.
"He really could. I really feel that way," Gregory said. "So it's nice to have a guy like that filling that role."
Parsons is likely going to get more opportunity on Monday night, as the Cowboys' troubles with COVID-19 continue. Already missing DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong, the team learned that Bradlee Anae has been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list, which means they'll be making do without the second-year defensive end.
"If it ain't one thing, it's another," Gregory said. "Like I said, the landscape has been like that since last year. Thankfully, guys are vaccinated, try to avoid stuff like that and get back quicker. Next man up."
On the bright side, Gregory himself is back from a COVID absence. He had to watch Parsons' pass rush debut from home last Sunday against the Chargers. When the ball gets kicked against Philadelphia, he'll be there to help the rookie bring some added pressure on Jalen Hurts.
"You've got to get them off the spot, be disruptive," he said. "I thought we had a good rush plan last week and we're only going to get better. I fully expect us to get after Hurts this week."
Conditioning figures to be a big part of that, especially against such a speedy signal-caller. Gregory was out for 10 days recovering from COVID, though he acknowledged that getting vaccinated prevented the symptoms from getting too tough.
"It's just getting back on the field, getting your legs under you and things like that," he said. "I wasn't really worried about that. Just getting back in the playbook, going out there and getting reps."
Given the losses the defensive line is dealing with, there should be plenty of reps to go around on Monday night.