The idea of Dallas Cowboys first-round rookie Micah Parsons playing defensive end has been kicked around since before training camp, when DeMarcus Lawrence noticed his skills as a pass-rusher and took him under his wing.
"You pass rush like that, Rook?'' Lawrence said to Parsons after a film session.
"Yeah,'' responded Parsons. "I used to be a defensive end.''
Next thing you know, Lawrence was tutoring Parsons in a way that will suddenly come in handy starting Sunday as the Cowboys visit the Los Angeles Chargers without the services of Lawrence, who will likely miss the next two months due to a broken foot.
“I don’t need to be the guy,'' said Parsons of becoming Dallas' defensive centerpiece. "But I want to be the guy.''
"The guy,'' in Parsons' case, as the Cowboys hinted to us all week, meant the Penn State product making an at-least-sometimes move to defensive end, or better said, to "Designated Pass-Rusher.''
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Parsons was chosen at the No. 12 spot and was Dallas' top-rated defensive player in this class. Versatility is among the reasons ... and this sort of move actually has a "trickle-up effect,'' because of Parsons plays end, all Dallas has to do is give Leighton Vander Esch more snaps at linebacker, and maybe the overall quality of the defense can remain the same.
Lawrence 's broken foot, along with Randy Gregory landing on the COVID list, means Dallas is thin at end. Maybe next week, the Cowboys will explore acquiring help. But today?
Micah Parsons is "the guy.''