With the tenth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cowboys select …

A general view of Dallas Cowboys fans Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
A general view of Dallas Cowboys fans Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons, Penn State, Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

5 – Micah Parsons

Linebacker Micah Parsons is a dark horse candidate to be selected at ten even though I believe it would be a mistake. Selecting an off-the-ball linebacker is not a good way to use the precious resource Dallas currently possesses.

Parsons is a fantastic prospect with so much upside but team building 101 should have a section dedicated to a list of positions you can and can’t take at certain spots minus the generational guys. Linebacker, running back, and any other constant high-speed collision positions where players wear down faster should be drafted in later rounds.

The 2016 NFL draft class was regarded as a huge success but the top two players selected, running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Jaylon Smith, are still young but are the subject of declining performances.

This is the main reason I am opposed to taking Parsons so high in the draft. His tape shows a defender who is everywhere and has the speed to become a pursuit monster but the tenth pick should be reserved for positions that have a better chance at staying in this league longer.

There are players that have had long careers playing both of those positions but the attrition rate feels like it is less likely those two guys will be with the team longer than let’s say an offensive lineman or cornerback.

Parsons would be a great candidate to select later in the first round if the Cowboys can trade back and land a premium pick but it feels a bit too risky at ten for a position that isn’t likely to last as long as others.

Parsons in Dallas would probably affect one and possibly both starting linebackers as Jaylon Smith being cut probably depends on his performance this year while Leighton Vander Esch has a tricky fifth-year option tied to him.