Micah Parsons’ offhand Sam Williams comment hints at 2022 position
By Adam Weinrib
The Dallas Cowboys beefed up their pass rush when they used the 56th pick of the 2022 Draft on Ole Miss defensive end Sam Williams (and yes, that’s what he’d like to be called).
In case you thought that selection would give Dan Quinn carte blanche to mess with his 2021 schematics, you might’ve been too quick to rock the boat, though.
While 2021 first-rounder Micah Parsons showed off unparalleled skill at linebacker in his freshman campaign, Cowboys fans and prognosticators couldn’t help but speculate about a possible shift for Year 2.
After all, Parsons is spectacular at getting to the quarterback, piling up 13 sacks in 2021 while also establishing himself as someone who can disrupt all other areas of the game.
Would the team dare mess with success and move him off linebacker to defensive end more formally? Well … it seems unlikely that the selection of Williams changed the organization’s best-laid plans, which Mike McCarthy sounded fairly devoted to when he spoke back in April.
Parsons himself caught up with Clarence Hill Jr. after attending Game 3 of Warriors-Mavericks (and rooting against the Mavs) and reiterated that he’d barely seen any of Williams thus far, revealing that he’s still going to take 100% of his snaps as a linebacker (with the ability to roam).
Cowboys star Micah Parsons still working at LB, hasn’t met Sam Williams much
In the past, Parsons has shifted to defensive end out of necessity; it happened in Week 2, in fact, which likely started a conversation the staff would rather avoid this offseason.
Parsons is most valuable to the team as an off-ball linebacker, a Swiss Army knife who can be everything short of a kicker under pressing circumstances. He’ll mimic a DE while still roaming significantly more territory. It clearly worked this past season, and it’s how the organization would rather operate
When asked in April about Parsons’ potential move, Coach McCarthy emphatically denied the idea. That’s likely a significant reason why the team chose a traditional DE with such an important mid-second-round pick. Rather than envisioning Parsons and Williams paired together, the team would rather maintain the status quo while adding another potential star up front in Randy Gregory’s spot (provided he gets his sea legs under him in the season’s first several weeks).
And Cowboy boots or not, Williams is ready to make an impact.
The other lesson here? Press Parsons on 2022 issues in the immediate wake of his beloved Warriors’ powerful win.
He’s way more likely to open up — and maybe slide a rookie a few bucks for some new boots, too.