The Dallas Cowboys were well-represented at the 2023 Pro Bowl. A total of eight players, including CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Trevon Diggs, Tony Pollard, KaVonae Turpin and injury replacement Tyler Biadasz, were invited to Las Vegas this past weekend.
CeeDee Lamb stole the show from a Cowboys perspective in the game itself. The star receiver was up for game MVP after posting six catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a beautiful toe-dragger vs Minkah Fitzpatrick.
It was an otherwise quiet weekend for Dallas’ Pro Bowlers.
All bets were on Parsons winning the hyped dodgeball match, but the Defensive Player of the Year finalist was ejected seconds into the game against the NFC offense for stepping over the line while throwing the ball.
Fittingly, Parsons redeemed himself the only way he knows how: getting after the quarterback. With little (if any) resistance from the offense, Parsons essentially had a running start to get into the backfield.
That’s simply unfair for a guy with Parsons’ athleticism, and AFC head coach Peyton Manning acknowledged as much during an in-game interview in which he raved about the Cowboys defender.
Watch Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning hype up Cowboys defender Micah Parsons at 2023 Pro Bowl.
Manning’s interview came moments after Parsons terrorized Trevor Lawrence (not the first time this season) in the second match, and bated the Jaguars QB into throwing an interception. The turnover landed in the hands of Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who promptly returned it for a touchdown.
Fortunately for Manning, he was out of the league by the time Dallas made Parsons the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Since then, Parsons has cemented himself as a top-three (top two?) defensive player in the NFL. He joined Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor as the only defenders to make first-team All-Pro in each of their first two seasons since the merger.
Parsons won Defensive Rookie of the Year unanimously in 2021, and followed it up by posting 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 27 quarterback hits, 90 pressures, 61 hurries, and a 91.6 player grade from PFF in 2022.
If not for Nick Bosa putting together a season for the ages, we’d be talking about Parsons winning Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in his first two seasons. He’ll be the odds on favorite to win DPOY in 2023, and you can already sharpie his name of the NFC Pro Bowl roster, as well.
While Manning referred to Parsons as a cheat code playing flag football, it’s accurate to say he’s unfair to play against in the real thing.