DeMarcus Ware: ‘I see something special’ in Dallas Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons – Dallas Cowboys Blog


FRISCO, Texas – When the producers of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” called out DeMarcus Ware with the idea that he would reunite with linebacker / defensive end Micah Parsons for one of the episodes, the all-time frontman of the bags for the Dallas Cowboys had one.

“I don’t want this to be staged,” Ware told them. “I don’t want him to be stuck like he can’t say this or that. Anything that won’t be the best for TV, don’t show it, but you’ll get the best part of who he is if you let him be himself.

For about 45 minutes last month, Parsons went to Ware’s, 3 Volt’s gym in Trophy Club, TX, and they immersed themselves in the intricacies of the pass race. It went so well that they exchanged phone numbers and now they talk or text each other every week.

“He’s my guy,” Parsons said of Ware.

Parsons, No.12 pick in 2020 draft, turns into the guy for the Cowboys defense the same way Ware was the guy for the Cowboys from 2005 to 2013 when he racked up 117 of his 138.5 career sacks and seven of his nine Pro Bowl appearances. Last week Ware was nominated for the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Over the course of three games, Parsons has been credited with 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six quarterback presses, two pass deflections and a loss tackle, but he seems to be making more of an impact than the numbers do. indicate.

In the last two games he played mostly as a passer, like Ware, due to injuries to DeMarcus Lawrence (foot), Dorance Armstrong (ankle) and a one-game absence due to COVID- 19 for Randy Gregory.

These are the first two games Parsons has played as a passer since high school.

If Sunday’s opponent, the Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox), hadn’t selected cornerback Jaycee Horn in 8th overall, there was a good chance Parsons wouldn’t have been a cowboy. The main defensive need going into the draft was the cornerback and the Cowboys loved Alabama’s Horn and Pat Surtain II.

The Panthers took Horn, who came out with broken bones in his foot, and the Denver Broncos took Surtain at No.9. The Cowboys came back from No.10 to No.12 in the first round with the Philadelphia Eagles and got Parsons, who Jerry Jones said was their highest-ranked defensive player.

“There was a little bit of ‘Ah, s —‘, because you wanted to add a wedge and we thought we would be in line to get one of these guys and they could add something to us real quick. Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay. “But then you talk about helping the defense and looking for the best player. We could have gone there in a number of ways, but we had it as a top defensive player.

And so set in motion the potential partnership of Parsons and Ware.

“There are elements of [Parsons’] game that compares to DeMarcus’ game with its suddenness, ”said McClay. “And then DeMarcus became such a technician with his passing rush. Initially he was coming out of his God given talent, but there are some comparisons there. But Micah is kind of a conundrum. He can do so many different things.

It didn’t take long for Ware to realize this, even as he and Parsons performed rushing moves and hand combat drills below top speed.

“The guy has that little twitch that every smuggler knows,” Ware said. “You can’t teach it. It’s just a way to have good passers and to have a knack for football. Like no matter what they have this pop.

Ware got it and became a savvy pass-rusher. He discovered that Parsons was also a quick learner. On his first start as a passer, he overpowered Chargers right tackle Storm Norton to pressure Justin Herbert before claiming the first sack in the fourth quarter.

“It was sudden, but [Norton’s] foot, once I saw his outside foot cross my foot where I’m going, it was easy to pick up the inside movement, ”Parsons said. “That’s why I was quick to slide sideways and rip underneath to reach the quarterback quickly.”

Ware was watching the game live when he saw Parsons take advantage of Norton’s overset on the outside and immediately texted him.

“I knew how athletic he was, but I didn’t know how technical he could be,” Ware said. “I started teaching him some of the techniques and nuances of reading attacks, reading offensive tackles, how to get out of the ball, how to get a jump ball. All the little things, and he knew it. As he progressed, he understood this very quickly. “

Parsons’ teammates were also impressed, especially as he learned several positions. Parsons leads all rookies with a 30% success rate, an ESPN stat powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.

“He’s a fucking ball player,” said linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who had an outstanding rookie season in 2018 and was named to the Pro Bowl. “The kid can do his thing and you’re not going to stop him.”

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said, “He can run and hit like you know what. It’s his super power.

Parsons’ super power comes from a hill not far from the training ground at Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, PA. He was in trouble with his coaches because his mind was drifting.

“So growing up I used to run a ton of hills. They used to call it ‘Parsons Hill’, ”Parsons said. “They’re like, ‘Just go up the hill.’ And I used to run hills all the time and eventually I just noticed that I was getting faster and faster and faster and faster. So finally I was like I was unstoppable on that hill. I got faster and faster, so I think that’s where I get my closing speed from.

Ware, who also had closing speed, said: “He can close on a tackle in a way where it’s not like a normal person. He has this different athleticism that he can use to really benefit the team. Some rushers can’t bend their body like that, but when you find a guy who can, it’s like, ‘Whoa, we’ve got something special.’ I know I see something special about Micah.

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