FRISCO, Texas — Despite being frustrated with the pitching in the 10th annual Reliant Home Run Derby on Wednesday night, third-year linebacker turned defensive end Micah Parsons couldn't contain his excitement about what's in store for the Dallas defense in 2023.
It began with the addition of Stephon Gilmore earlier this offseason, but was amplified even more when defensive tackle Mazi Smith was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft last week to help bolster one of the top defenses in the league from a season ago.
"He's gonna add tremendous help in the run game," Parsons said about Smith. "He's low, he's powerful, strong and big-bodied. We've been missing a young guy too, not just trading for guys. Just a young big boulder that will make a difference in this run defense and pushing the pocket."
Parsons was exchanging messages with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn throughout the draft process right up until the pick was made on Thursday night about Smith being one his favorites for selection No. 26.
"Just watching his film, watching this guy running through guys, how explosive he is coming off," he said about what stood out. "This is the type of guy we could really use."
The third round selection of Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown also excites Parsons as he sees yet another athletic presence being added to the second level that can also assist in getting into the backfield.
"I just like how athletic he is," he said. "Him and Devin Harper have a lot of similarities in their game. It's just all about getting him ready for the game, getting him ready for the playbook, just putting that weight on and getting him coming downhill and letting that fear go."
With the rookie additions that can step in immediately being paired with the offseason acquisition of Stephon Gilmore, Parsons sees a ceiling for the Dallas defense that will be even more difficult for opposing offenses to gameplan around.
"We can be so much better," he said. "We got teams that can't just run away from [Trevon Diggs] no more. We got that stability on the outside, that veteran leadership that's gonna help Kelvin [Joseph] and Nahshon [Wright] get going. We're very excited."