If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan or a football fan in general, you’ve probably witnessed some of the terrible penalty calls against defenders lately. The roughing the passer penalty is a necessary one. It protects quarterbacks from getting blindsided and seriously hurt. However, lately, it feels like it’s being overused and causing defenders to throw their hands up and wonder what else they could have possibly done.
Two distinctly egregious calls have caused uproar amongst the NFL community as of late. The first came on Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons were facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the final minutes of the game after the Falcons had clawed their way back from a large deficit, Atlanta DL Grady Jarrett found Tom Brady and spun him down for a sack. Brady still had the ball and he was not blindsided. It looked like a well-executed, game-changing play for the Falcons.
A roughing the passer penalty was called, taking away the impressive play and allowing the Bucs to go on and win 21-15. Twitter erupted in frustration over the babying of Brady.
Just over 24 hours later, an arguably worse (relatively speaking) roughing the passer flag was thrown again. In Monday night’s Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs, KC Defensive tackle Chris Jones was impressively able to break a tackle and get to Derek Carr for what should have been a strip sack and could have been a defensive touchdown. Once again, the ball was very clearly still in Carr’s hands and it truly felt like there was no way for Jones to “let up” in his tackling of Carr.
To the untrained eye, it looked far from malicious. Apparently, the trained eye thought otherwise.
These questionable penalties have sparked a conversation about the controversial calls and protection of quarterbacks over other players. Players, former players, celebrities, and others were chiming in on the situation, including a well-known Cowboys defender.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons tweets his frustration about recent controversial roughing-the-passer calls
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons knows a thing or two about sacks. He has the second-most sacks through any player’s first 21 career games (19) only trailing Joey Bosa (20). The 23-year-old is also the only player in the NFL to be in the top 3 in terms of sacks, TFLs, and QB hits this season.
The Cowboys’ LB is a big Twitter fan and he isn’t shy about making his comments heard. In the tweet above, you can see that Parsons posted a picture representing him continually getting held in pursuit of Rams QB Matthew Stafford, while only getting a flag drawn for holding once. The defender is frustrated that certain things get called with ease and others don’t.
He added to his commentary after seeing the Jones/Carr situation on Monday night.
His first tweet was a straight shot at the NFL with no sugarcoating. Parsons said the league might as well just make it a 7-on-7 situation if they aren’t going to change the rules.
A minute later he had an NSFW addition to his first tweet. Parsons made the argument that many are trying to make. Football is meant to be a contact sport. Yes, people should feel safe, but you have to respect the integrity of the game. He urged the league to speak up about the issues.
The last one was a great comparison. The main reason so many people think the Pro Bowl is the worst “All-Star Game” in sports is that it’s all offense because nobody wants to get hurt. Defense is just as much a part of this game as the offense is and people want to see sacks, TFLs, and QB hits (in a clean manner, of course).
We’ve heard Parsons’ opinion. How do you feel about the roughing the passer penalties as of late? Should the NFL make changes?