Micah Parsons was awarded the green helmet dot for his inaugural NFL campaign.
The Dallas Cowboys‘ first-round rookie, chosen No. 12 overall in last month’s draft, revealed that he will play middle linebacker to begin the 2021 season.
“I’m at MIKE linebacker,” Parsons said in a video posted Thursday to the team’s official Twitter account. “Looking at the playbook, this is a position for me to go sideline-to-sideline, make a lot of plays, and really stop that run. How I’m supposed to do.”
Parsons says he’ll begin #DallasCowboys minicamp at middle LB
📰: https://t.co/xC7WZHqIp4 pic.twitter.com/QWp0wlFyKe
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 14, 2021
The latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Sign up for the Heavy on Cowboys Newsletter!
The Cowboys on Friday kicked off their three-day rookie minicamp, of which Parsons was the shining star. The Penn State product, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, admitted he experienced “rust” after taking his first sled rep. That feeling didn’t linger, though.
“I’m back now,” Parsons declared after his second rep, via the Dallas Morning News, adding, “[I] felt extraordinary, just to be out there, being out with some of the guys that I got drafted with. …I think this is a special class. …I’m just super excited to be a part of this team.”
Parsons compiled 99 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and five pass deflections across 2018-2019, his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Nittany Lions. A rocked-up 6-foot-3, 244 pounds with top-end athleticism, he boasts the ability to play off-ball linebacker or kick out to the edge.
Assuming he sticks full-time at MLB, Parsons will be flanked by Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith as new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn shifts to a 4-3 scheme, undoing the 3-4 base set employed by failed predecessor Mike Nolan.
“They told me they have a need at Mike…great chance to play in the box and I think that’s what I do best,” Parsons said Friday, via USA Today.
“I want to learn from Jaylon and Vander Esch,” he said, via the Dallas Morning News.
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Following the conclusion of Friday’s practice, beat reporter Michael Gehlken was permitted to disclose his notes — embedded below — from the “very light, quick, limited instructional” session.
No team period. No 7-on-7. No situational work. Ball security the focus in turnover circuit; coaches wore boxing gloves, throwing jabs, hooks and uppercuts at ball. Same circuit the veterans do.
First-round pick Micah Parsons is one of three LBs at Cowboys rookie minicamp. He initially worked at strong-side (Sam) nickel LB in individual drills with Jabril Cox at Will. Senior assistant George Edwards operated like LBs coach, guiding group through punch, rip and sled work.
Cowboys plan to use some 3-4 base alignment under DC Dan Quinn. With only three linebackers, team doesn’t have minicamp personnel to support that. So it seemed natural for nickel package to be a focus area. Parsons should see work at Mike before long.
READ NEXT: Cowboys Sign Two Rookies to Multi-Million-Dollar Deals: Report
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL