FRISCO - It is only fitting that rookie linebacker Micah Parsons served as a standout of this week's minicamp practices at The Star. For one thing, as the team's first-round NFL Draft pick, his sheer talents should provide him a showcase.
And for another? This coaching staff seems intent on finding ways to help him achieve a goal:
“Just creating havoc,” Parsons said. "Creating disruption, being able to create that excitement, momentum change, a chance to get the ball out and get it back to our explosive offense.”
Parsons was specifically talking about being able to line up as a defensive end, as the DPR (designated pass-rusher), and there were some spectacular moments there. He got a pass defensed in 7-on-7 work by knocking away one throw. Later, Parsons rushed off the right edge and so over-matched tackle Ty Nsekhe that the big man got twisted up and had to temporarily limp off the field.
That play would've been a sack. Havoc.
Said Parsons: “I was able to come free, use my speed to come off the edge and do what I do best. I would say it’s just another play and another down.”
But for this particular defense, among the NFL's poorest last year? This sort of explosive promise is not just "another down.'' It has a chance to be something special - something Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence noticed on film.
“You pass-rush like that, rook?” Tank asked Micah.
"Yeah,'' Parsons responded. "I used to be a defensive end.”
This doesn't mean Lawrence "discovered'' this talent in Parsons; the Cowboys were already aware of the Penn State product's multiple skill set. But it does mean Lawrence is now spending extra time teaching the kid some of his moves.
If this works the way Dallas plans it, the 6-3, 245-pound Parsons will start at middle linebacker (flanked by Leighton Vander Esch at WILL, with Jaylon Smith in a lesser SAM role) and will work as a run-stuffer, as a speedster who drops into coverage (he has fun this week chasing around the "untouchable'' Ezekiel Elliott), and yes, maybe as a chess-piece pass-rusher in new coordinator Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme.
Otherwise said, in a word? "Havoc.''