Ezekiel Elliott just went there.
Shortly after the Dallas Cowboys selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pro Bowl running back tweeted a curious message to his newest teammate.
@MicahhParsons11 don’t touch me in practice rook . . . 😂
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) April 30, 2021
To which Parsons replied …
🤣🤣🤣🤣 we’ll see! https://t.co/EcFhHQ68Pn
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) April 30, 2021
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Meaning of Zeke’s Tweet
The missive has since gone viral on Cowboys Twitter, accumulating over 16,000 likes and 350 replies as of press time. Probably because it’s not as innocent as it appears: a veteran playfully jabbing his rookie counterpart.
Elliott seemingly was referencing Parsons’ checkered past at Penn State, where various off-field issues damaged his stock and sent him spiraling out of the top-10. The accusations against the 21-year-old (and other Nittany Lions) are particularly graphic, well beyond the norm of a school environment. Details came to light in a 2020 civil lawsuit filed by a former player.
“Players would allegedly regularly pin younger teammates to the floor and simulate ‘a humping action while on top’ or place their ‘genitals on the face of the lower classmen.’ One of the players would place a ‘penis on the buttocks of the lower classmen and stroke his genitalia, simulating the action of ejaculation.’”
Parsons’ problems preceded his stint in State College. In 2016, he was suspended by his high school for “inciting a riot” after yelling ‘Gun!’ while police were present. These apparent red flags scared off more than a few NFL talent evaluators who weighed his troubling allegations versus his unignorable talent.
“There’s some (concern) because he comes off like Odell Beckham with high-maintenance stuff — like a quarterback playing linebacker,” an anonymous league scout said earlier this month.
For what it’s worth, Parsons acknowledged that he’s seen the error of his ways, chalking up his concerning behavior as age-appropriate immaturity.
“Obviously, people had some concerns about things that had happened,” Parsons told The New York Post. “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18. If someone is going to judge me over that, then I would rather not be in their program. I know the type of person I’m becoming. I know the type of father I’m becoming [to his soon-to-be 3-year-old]. That’s all that matters to me.”
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Jerry Speaks on Pick
As far as on-field ability is concerned, the Cowboys landed arguably the best defender in this year’s class. The 2019 Linebacker of the Year and consensus first-team All-American, Parsons totaled 99 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and five pass deflections across 2018-2019, his freshman and sophomore seasons, before opting out of the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 244 pounds with sideline-to-sideline speed, he can be deployed by new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as an off-ball ‘backer or edge rusher. The ready-made replacement for retiring LB Sean Lee, Parsons is expected to start from Day One opposite Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.
“He can do a lot of damage, or impact, to the identity of this defense,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday night.
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL