The Dallas Cowboys are in a bit of a pickle. They were forced into making the decision to release their star rookie, Micah Parsons, after he was arrested for domestic violence. This is not the first time this has happened with the team and it may signal an end to the NFL’s “get out of jail free” card.
The Dallas Cowboys defense has had a difficult week.
Randy Gregory, a defensive end, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after testing positive for the virus. DE DeMarcus Lawrence fractured his foot in practice two days later, and he’ll be out for 6-8 weeks following surgery on Thursday. The Cowboys will be missing both starters when they play the Chargers in Los Angeles on Sunday, forcing them to make a desperate move that may impede the development of outstanding rookie linebacker Micah Parsons.
Against the Chargers, the Cowboys will be without both starting defensive ends.
S Donovan Wilson (groin) has been declared out of Sunday’s game against the Chargers by the Cowboys. Three of the 11 starters on defense from Week 1 will be absent, including DEs Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Gregory was in charge of the defense.
Wilson will not be visiting Los Angeles.
September 18, 2021 — Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL)
The Cowboys’ defensive problems have only grown worse after giving up 431 yards and 31 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. After sustaining a groin injury, both starting defensive ends will be out for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. Starting safety Donovan Wilson will also not be going to LA.
Randy Gregory was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week after testing positive on Monday, and he’ll miss Week 2. Before he can rejoin the team, the outstanding pass rusher and defensive captain must test negative on two COVID-19 tests separated by 24 hours.
As if that weren’t terrible enough, DeMarcus Lawrence broke his foot during practice on Wednesday. According to head coach Mike McCarthy, he had surgery the next day and would miss “substantial time.” For the foreseeable future, the Cowboys will struggle to generate pressure without Lawrence, who is by far the team’s most effective pass rusher.
Micah Parsons will start at defensive end for the Cowboys in a desperate move.
With both Gregory and Lawrence sidelined for Sunday’s game against the Chargers, the Cowboys will turn to Tarell Basham, Bradlee Anae, and Dorance Armstrong at defensive end. Dallas is making a surprise change in the defensive front seven, indicating that they aren’t particularly confidence in that trio.
The Cowboys will start shifting first-round draft choice Micah Parsons from linebacker to defensive end this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
For Parsons, this isn’t unfamiliar terrain. Throughout high school, the standout rookie was a defensive end before switching to linebacker at Penn State. He’s also been practicing at DE alongside Lawrence throughout sessions, so the versatile rookie should have an easy adjustment.
Is there reason to be concerned?
Before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys’ Micah Parsons looks on | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Parsons was selected by the Cowboys with the hopes of being the team’s next great linebacker. He was generally considered the top LB prospect in the 2021 draft class, and he’s played the position since joining the club.
Moving to defensive end so early in his career might be a worry, but Parsons has shown that he can thrive at both positions in high school and college. In addition, the Cowboys have a plethora of talented linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch, Keanu Neal, and Jaylon Smith to step in as Parsons begins to attack the passer more often.
With two starters sidelined this week, this may be Dallas’ only realistic choice, but shifting their star rookie to the defensive line may impede his development as a linebacker during these critical first few weeks in the NFL.
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