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Time for Cowboys to Consider Micah Parsons at DE Without DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys have asked a lot of since drafting him 12th overall, but filling in for in just his second career game wasn't part of the plan – even if Lawrence worked with Parsons on pass rush as early as minicamp.

Without Lawrence for the next 6-8 weeks, and much depth at defensive end, the Cowboys will have to use their strengths elsewhere to make up for the loss of their best defender. With , , , and , the Cowboys have the depth at to consider moving Parsons down to left end. While he may not provide the same ability as Lawrence, this is a player that can set the and allow other LBs to get to the ball.

Parsons was used in coverage against Bucs TE in the first game for the Cowboys under . Gronkowski caught eight passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

Quinn's plan for a rotation at linebacker based on weekly match ups would change considerably if Parsons sees more snaps on the edge. For Sunday's game against the Chargers, the Cowboys need to get the ball out of Justin Herbert's hands quickly and not allow him to extend plays. They'll see plenty of in-breaking quick routes to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, where Parsons is better off in coverage compared to Smith or Vander Esch.

With Smith and Vander Esch both being veterans with starting , this still may be the better alignment compared to unproven DEs like and seeing more snaps. Both players will be on the field regardless against the Chargers as it's unlikely the Cowboys will have on Sunday as well.

Anae and Armstrong combined for 37 snaps in week one and neither showed up in the final stat sheet. Even including in this rotation gives the Cowboys just 9.5 combined from the three defensive ends expected to step up in Lawrence's absence.

A historically bad defense from a year ago turning to a rookie for the answer is hardly what the Cowboys envisioned this early into a 17 game schedule, but Micah Parsons has shown flashes since the of being a real difference maker in the front seven. Just how much he helps the Cowboys ease the loss of DeMarcus Lawrence remains to be seen, as the Cowboys stretch of opposing quarterbacks goes from Herbert to in week three and Sam Darnold the Sunday after.

Sean Martin
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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