Last year in the NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and co. shocked the football world when they plucked out wide receiver CeeDee Lamb when just about every analyst expected the Cowboys to snap up a defensive reinforcement.
This year, the Cowboys gave fans a few heebie-jeebies when they traded their 10th overall pick with the Eagles for the 12th overall pick. But coach Mike McCarthy will be happy they emerged from the first round with one of the best defensive players available in this year's NFL draft.
Whom did the Dallas Cowboys take in the 2021 NFL Draft first round?
Micah Parsons might not have been the cornerback we were all expecting. But most certainly, he was the premier linebacker available, and the Dallas Cowboys roster looks significantly strengthened after his addition.
The Penn State product fits the prototype of a star NFL linebacker; he's big, strong, and is an athletic phenomenon, running the 40-yard dash in just 4.36 seconds at his pro day event.
In the 26 games he played for the Nittany Lions, Parsons racked up 191 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss, proving that he's much more than just an athletic specimen. The Cowboys' first-round pick reads the game well, too, and is quick in breaking across the line.
Because of his propensity to generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Parsons was able to tally 6.5 sacks during his college career. He's equally adept in dropping back to swat pass-attempts away, too, amassing five PDFs during his three-year stint at Penn State.
Perhaps the most exciting stat on Micah Parsons' curriculum vitae is the six forced fumbles he caused. Parsons' penchant for generating turnovers is a highly desired trait in a young linebacker, which shows that he could be an impact player for the Dallas Cowboys once the season gets underway in September.
However, Parsons will need to learn to better rein in his aggression or he will find himself falling foul of NFL officials. As with so many top players in the draft, the Dallas Cowboys would have been even more confident in making the LB their first-round pick had he not opted out of his final year as a Nittany Lion due to COVID-19.
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys have done well with this pick, and Micah Parsons could be expected to go on to have a phenomenal career in the NFL.