Are both sides right regarding the Cowboys linebacker debate?

Linebacker Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Linebacker Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys, Leighton Vander Esch
Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55)(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dangers of First-Round Linebackers

Leighton Vander Esch was drafted in 2018 and his fifth-year option was declined. He is a prime example of the dangers of drafting a linebacker in the first round. He is a good player when healthy but is he worth the price of what linebackers are getting these days?

Former Carolina Panthers and first-round linebacker Luke Kuechly was a great player but he only lasted eight NFL seasons. Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner was a second-round pick in the same draft as Kuechly, is now entering his tenth season in the NFL.

When you look at the highest-paid linebackers and compare that to PFF’s list, Shaq Thompson is the eighth highest-paid linebacker yet is ranked 29th out of 32 players on their list. Carolina had the pleasure of having elite defensive line play and it is not a shock to me that Thompson’s play slid when players like defensive tackle Kawann Short left the team.

Let us not forget the Dallas Cowboys have been getting fair play from their defensive line which has kept these linebackers uncovered and free to run and make plays.

It appears, as usual, that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has the only first-round linebacker on an extension that still has value in Dont’a Hightower.

Like I said before, I am not bashing Micah Parsons the player, I’m using recent history to try and make an educated guess rather than keep my head in the sand on trends and history. I’m sure most of you have heard the quote ” those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”.

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Dallas Cowboys fans telling other Cowboys fans to eat crow for a draft pick that is playing well in the preseason is bizarre. Unlike the political divide that is currently consuming our country, It is entirely possible that both sides were right and that is ok.