Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has no interest in sugarcoating things for star pass-rusher Micah Parsons. The former No. 12 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, who’s well on his way to being known as one of the biggest first-round steals potentially in history, came out of Penn State looking to make an impact. And through his first two seasons, it’s safe to say that he’s done that and more.
The exceptional play of Parsons has led to constant attention from opposing defenses to the point that if he’s not double or triple-teamed on a play, it’s more surprising than not. While speaking with reporters on Friday, McCarthy addressed that, and much more on Parsons while praising him for having a full understanding of the impact he makes, how he helps his teammates by creating opportunities and also handling the constant pressure well.
“I think he’s handled it [extra attention during games] very well. I think he clearly understands the impact he makes for our defense, the opportunities he creates for others, he’s very much in tune with that,” McCarthy said, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota.
To take things even one step further, McCarthy admitted Parsons spent the final play of one portion of practice facing a triple team “just to make him feel at home,” per Machota.
“Frankly, just to make him feel at home, we triple-teamed him today on the last play of game segment. It’s just something he’s going to be dealing with the rest of his career.”
The extra attention from opposing offenses is certainly warranted, as Parsons entered the 2023 season with a total of 149 tackles, 26.5 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and 56 quarterback hits in 33 games over the past two years. Even when Parsons wasn’t the one making a tackle or sack, his name was constantly mentioned for the consistent pressure the New York Giants and Daniel Jones faced in the Cowboys’ 40-0 Week 1 victory over their rival.
As we’ve seen time and time again with elite pass-rushers in the NFL, the pressure they generate allows their teammates the chance to maximize opportunities and get to the quarterback while facing far less pressure as well. But Parsons is a rare breed of player, as he’ll draw the attention, his teammates will benefit, but he always seems to find a way to still manage to make big plays himself as well.