Micah Parsons brings a different dimension to the Dallas Cowboys defense. The rookie linebacker comes with swagger and intensity that the team lacked in the 2020 NFL season. Parsons revealed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is on his hit list for the rest of the 2021 season.
If he successfully checks Hurts off the hit list, the Cowboys will have a chance to end a streak that should haunt them heading into the Monday Night Football matchup.
The Cowboys have lost seven straight primetime games
Often referred to as “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys have a large fan base. As a result of their insane popularity and polarizing history, the NFL grants the team several primetime games every season.
Dallas has five primetime games on its schedule, including the Week 3 tilt with the NFC East rival Eagles. They will be looking to shake a funk they’ve been in for the past of couple seasons.
The Cowboys have dropped seven consecutive primetime games. Their most recent win was a 37-10 blowout victory over the Eagles in Week 7 of the 2019 season. It will be interesting to see if they can repeat that success against their division foes.
Dallas lost its first primetime game of 2021, falling to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Thursday Night Football season opener.
The Cowboys appeared to be up for the challenge against Tampa Bay and look like a much-improved team compared to the 2020 season.
The primetime drought will be yet another storyline to watch when the Cowboys and Eagles square off.
Jalen Hurts is on Micah Parsons’ hit list
The Cowboys lined Micah Parsons up at defensive end in their Week 2 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. After an injury to All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn decided to experiment.
The Penn State product played well, too. Parsons was flying all over the field to get after quarterback Justin Herbert. He registered one sack and finished the game with four quarterback hits. He pressured the Chargers signal-caller eight times and made life difficult throughout.
Parsons isn’t done, though. He wants to take out opposing quarterbacks one by one. “I would say every quarterback that’s on the season is on the hit list,” he told the media per CBS Sports. “I want all of them. Herbert was just the guy I had that week. But Hurts, he’s on the hit list now too. You got to look at it like you’re trying to be the Terminator out there.”
However, Jalen Hurts will present a different challenge than Herbert did. The Oklahoma product is a dual-threat quarterback who has the speed and athleticism to make big plays with his legs.
Hurts’ mobility should be an intriguing problem for Parsons to attempt to solve. He’s a freak athlete and has the necessary tools to make things hard for the Eagles quarterback as well.
Micah Parsons is what the Cowboys’ defense needed
Micah Parsons entered the draft with high expectations. Through the first two weeks of 2021, he’s already exceeding those expectations.
The Dallas Cowboys struggled defensively in the 2020 season. Opposing offenses moved the football with ease against their unit.
The front office brought in Dan Quinn in hopes of turning things around. So far, the defense has shown clear improvement year over year. If 2020’s defense faced the Buccaneers this year, Tom Brady would’ve had an absolute field day.
The Cowboys also held the Chargers to 17 points in Week 2. Enough can’t be said about the impact Parsons had on the outcome of that game.
The first-round pick’s versatility has been on full display so far in 2021. He can roam around from his linebacker positions and fly from sideline to sideline. Or he can put his hand in the dirt and rush the passer from a three-point stance.
He and cornerback Trevon Diggs have been the most impressive defensive players for the Cowboys thus far. Their canny ability to find the football and make plays has Dallas’ defense looking more respectable.
After two high draft picks in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch not providing early returns at the linebacker position based on their draft position, the Cowboys front office must be pleased with what they’re seeing out of Micah Parsons.
The 22-year-old may be the next great Cowboys defensive player.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference