With their first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys added linebacker Micah Parsons to their defense. The Penn State standout is looking to bring some added athleticism to a Cowboys defense that struggled mightily in 2020.
In a way, Parsons is replacing another former Penn State linebacker in Sean Lee, who retired earlier this week. Parsons now joins former first round selection Leighton Vander Esch, and top 40 pick Jaylon Smith in that Cowboys' linebacker group.
Parsons told reporters after the draft that he sees big things ahead for this group in 2021.
“If all three of us can find a way to play together and stay healthy, it will be something scary” – Micah Parsons.
When it comes to Vander Esch and Smith, that's been a big “if.” Outside of their dynamic 2018 season, neither of them have spent much time on the field together. And, when they have been together, it's been pretty ugly for this defense.
Parsons' arrival likely signals the end for Vander Esch in Dallas after this season, but you never know exactly what this front office has in mind.
Parsons also told reporters that fans can expect to see a “fast and instinctual” player on Sundays, which would be a welcomed addition to a linebacker unit that has looked neither fast nor instinctual over the last two seasons.