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ESPN: Jayron Kearse Called Cowboys Defensive Plays Over Micah Parsons at Vikings

The Dallas Cowboys have exceeded expectations on all year, so much so in week 8 that they were able to win on the road with at – holding the Vikings to just an opening drive touchdown and three field goals. Rookie Micah Parsons played a huge role in this, putting out his best game of the season while playing mostly at linebacker.

The Cowboys have toggled Parsons' position across the front seven since the start of practices, but may have found a way to take some of the pressure off their 12th overall pick on Sunday night thanks to veteran Jayron Kearse. 's Ryan Clark noted on NFL Live that Kearse was the “green dot” – or defensive play caller – against the Vikings.


The Vikings picked on Kearse in pass coverage on their lone touchdown drive, but after this the defense he reportedly called settled down. With , , and now all healthy, Kearse has remained on the field as a clear veteran presence the Cowboys can rely on. Though Parsons has handled everything thrown at him better than any rookie should, his ability to be a matchup player based on Dallas' opponent may benefit from somebody else signaling the plays.

Reinforcements are on the way for the Cowboys with and , making Parsons more valuable as a stand up linebacker. This is a role the Penn State product struggled in against the Patriots, putting in extra work throughout the week to be ready for the Vikings.

Kearse's position has been something of a hybrid since with the Cowboys this offseason. His best snaps have come in the box as an extra safety, while also being asked to play in deep zone coverage or man-to-man on both tight ends and outside receivers.

If this type of focus and extra preparation paid off for the Cowboys almost immediately, they should gather much more from their latest win than just the ability to complete without . With winnable games against the Broncos and Falcons at home ahead, 's message of keeping the long term goals for this team in sight is already being echoed by first year players. Leveraging the ups and downs of a new 17 game season, filled with mostly ups through eight weeks for Dallas, is exactly why players like Kearse were brought in to provide stability.

For Kearse's role to include play calling duties midseason may come as a surprise, but few around are questioning what Dan Quinn and McCarthy come up with right now – especially if it can be framed as a way to get the most out of rookie sensation Micah Parsons.

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Ethan L Chazin

Sean – I LOVE this on so many levels. I was one of the many who didn’t like the Parsons pick and enjoy eating my words now. Plus Kearse coming in as a calming veteran presence, the return of Tank, Gallimore, even Trysten Hill and Michael Gallup plus Dak’s return all bode well for stronger performance the 2nd half of the season. Eye on the prize, a Lombardi trophy!!

gary b

I was a little surprised they would tab a rookie to call the defensive signals to begin with? Is any rookie suited for that responsibility in their 1st year? At any rate if it frees up Parsons to just concentrate on playing and flying to the ball, I’m all for it.


this team is making ADJUSTMENTS…all the time; everywhere. Might not be perfect, but they are definitely trying with one goal in mind…win the last game they play!!!


Well the result of the switch, at least in this one game, seem to bear fruit, as the defense had maybe their best game of the year. RG and MP in particular were standouts.

I see a good amount of optimism in most comments here and with good reason. Our team is playing their best football in quite some time. Let’s hope it continues.

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