FRISCO, TX – The Dallas Cowboys have added some defensive help in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.
Originally slated to pick 10th overall, Dallas watched both top corners go to Carolina and Denver at 8 and 9 respectively. Of the 3 top wide receivers in the draft, 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith was available at 10.
The Eagles called and after throwing in a 3rd round pick, swapped with the Cowboys. Philly then took DeVonta Smith reportedly jumping the Giants to take the Alabama product.
At 12th overall, the Dallas Cowboys selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
Parsons is the best linebacker in this draft. At 6’2”, 245 lbs. and can run a 4.39 , there aren’t many linebackers in the NFL with this combination of size, speed, and instincts.
The Penn State product is very athletic, flexible, explosive, and has tremendous closing speed but his balance and agility set him apart.
Parsons can rush off the edge as well. He was being recruited as a defensive end out of high school.
It is worth noting that Parsons did have a hazing allegation against him while at Penn State. Things like that get torn apart by NFL teams and Parsons certainly isn’t the first player to have issues like that.
For the Cowboys?
They needed defense in the worst way possible at all three levels. At linebacker, Sean Lee recently retired, Leighton Vander-Esch hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and Jaylon Smith is coming off his worst season as a pro.
While every team dealt with a COVID altered training camp and preseason, Dallas didn’t do themselves any favors with their free agent signings. Gerald McCoy went down before the season even got started and Dontari Poe was cut during the season.
At one point the Cowboys were fielding two of the worst defensive tackles in the league and once they fired the defensive coordinator, the defense did play better.
Dallas has tried to remedy that situation by hiring Dan Quinn to oversee the defense.
Looking at this a little deeper, the Cowboys have not picked up the 5th year option on Vander-Esch yet and this might tell us a little more on the seriousness of his injuries.
After the trade with the Eagles, the Cowboys now have 4 picks in rounds 2 and 3.