Cowboys finally have baseline for Micah Parsons' eventual record-setting contract

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

This offseason alone, the Dallas Cowboys have signed Trevon Diggs, Malik Hooker, and Terence Steele to contract extensions. They also gave Zack Martin a two-year raise worth $36 million, so they haven't been afraid to break out the checkbook.

Fans are hopeful they'll sign CeeDee Lamb before Justin Jefferson resets the market, but the Cowboys also have Micah Parsons to think about.

While Parsons was drafted a year after Lamb, it stands to reason Dallas will open contract negotiations as soon as next offseason. The longer the Cowboys wait to pay Parsons, the more expensive he'll become and all signs point him signing the richest contract in league history for a defensive player.

Well, Dallas finally has a starting point for those negotiations after Nick Bosa agreed to a five-year $170 million extension with the 49ers, including $122.5 million guaranteed. It makes Bosa the highest-paid defender in NFL history.

Nick Bosa's 49ers extension is notable for the Cowboys and Micah Parsons

Bosa had staged a contract holdout up until now. There was concern of him missing the 49ers' season opener against the Steelers. Reports indicated the two sides were far apart in negotiations, but San Francisco ultimately recognized Bosa deserved this milestone, which is a good lesson for the Cowboys.

With Bosa signing for $34 million, you can book $35 million as the starting point for Parsons' negotiations. Bosa's salary is a notable jump from the previously highest-paid edge rusher -- the Steelers' T.J. Watt, who signed for $28.02 million per year, and Parsons will undoubtedly look to eclipse that.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Bosa notched 8.5 sacks, 48 QB hits, 90 pressures, 40 hurries and 19 tackles for loss last season. He tallied 15.5 sacks in 2021 and his numbers have improved every year of his career.

Parsons has finished second in DPOY voting in each of his first two seasons. Despite falling short to Bosa in 2022 and Watt in 2021, and having inferior pass rush numbers, Parsons is widely recognized as the NFL's best defensive player.

His impact goes beyond the stat sheet -- he blows up ample plays of the pass and rush variety by simply getting into the backfield -- and he does more than rush the QB. Still, he matched Bosa's pressure output in 2022 and totaled 20 more hurries to go with 13.5 sacks, 26 QB hits and three forced fumbles.

Parsons will become the game's richest defender at some point. Bosa's extension suggests the bidding is going to start at $35 million.