Safety Steven Parker has played in the Cowboys’ last two games as an elevated player from the practice squad. Apparently he’s done some thing the team likes, because today Dallas made him part of the official 53-man roster.
Under the revised rules in 2020 for COVID-19, practice squad players were eligible to be called up for a max of two games. The Cowboys had to make Parker part of their official roster if they wanted to use him in anymore games this season.
According to one reporter, Dallas’ fondness for the third-year safety is growing.
Cowboys are signing S Steven Parker from practice squad to 53-man roster, source said. Parker has made a real impression on coaches. Wasn’t in camp but earned snaps in favor of some who were. This keeps him on field without exposing him to waivers; team elevated him twice off PS.
Parker went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year run at Oklahoma. He spent that first year on the Rams’ practice squad and was then claimed off waivers last year by the Miami Dolphins.
Appearing in 14 games and starting four of them for Miami in 2019, Parker had two interceptions for the Dolphins. However, he remained a roleplayer and then didn’t make it halfway through training camp this year before being released.
The Minnesota Vikings claimed Parker off waivers in August but did not keep him at final cuts. Steven remained a free agency for about two weeks before the Cowboys added him to their practice squad.
There’s a pretty low bar for safety play right now in Dallas. While Xavier Woods remains a constant feature at one spot, the other starting position has seen Darian Thompson get benched for Donovan Wilson and no real impact coming from him either. Even Woods hasn’t been a playmaker the way the Cowboys would like.
This all comes after Dallas tried to upgrade with veteran Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency and then released him at final cuts.
Sometimes it’s more about scheme fit and playing style than pure talent. Parker may not be any better than Thompson or WIlson overall, but perhaps his style is more what Mike Nolan and Maurice Linguist are looking for from their safeties.
Whatever the case, it sounds like Steven Parker is doing something that other Cowboys safeties haven’t been able to do this year by actually impressing the coaches. It’s earned him a roster spot today, and perhaps it will lead to more playing time and opportunities in the weeks ahead.