With the Dallas Cowboys bludgeoning the New York Giants, head coach Mike McCarthy wisely yanked Dak Prescott and most of the first-team offense early in the fourth quarter. Before long, CeeDee Lamb, who made NFL history in the game, and Tyron Smith joined Prescott on the sidelines.
You know who wasn't playing cheerleader late in the game, though? None other than Micah Parsons, who's without question the Cowboys' most valuable player not-named Dak Prescott.
Parsons eventually came off the field, but only after Dallas extended its lead to 49-10 with a Rico Dowdle touchdown run. Still, that doesn't excuse McCarthy for playing with fire by keeping Parsons in garbage time of a blowout win.
It's duly noted that Parsons never wants to come off the field. Even when he's battling injury, he seldom takes one snap off.
At some point, though, McCarthy has to save the player from himself. There was zero reason for Parsons to still be rushing the passer in a 32-point game and Pro Football Focus' Marcus Mosher was quick to point it out.
Why did the Cowboys not sit Micah Parsons late in blowout win vs Giants?
We get it, OK. Complaining after a near-40-point win is psycho behavior. That said, there's a big difference between splitting hairs over a team's performance and taking issue with borderline coaching negligence.
While McCarthy's negligence didn't come home to roost, the Cowboys have been victimized by freak injuries in meaningless settings all season. Trevon Diggs suffered a season-ending torn ACL in practice two games in, while Tyron Smith has missed a combined three games due to knee and neck injuries suffered in practice.
Why (EVER) play with fire with Parsons?
Ironically, it was Parsons who was critical of Giants head coach Brian Daboll on his podcast after Daboll left Daniel Jones in late of the Cowboys' 40-0 shutout win in Week 1. Jones was sacked seven times and seemingly took a big hit every time he dropped back to pass after the score got out of reach.
It was reckless by Daboll to subject Jones to that beating and Parsons rightfully called him out publicly. McCarthy leaving Parsons in won't get anywhere near that level of attention because Parsons left unscathed but imagine the discourse (and consequences on the Cowboy season) if Parsons so much as sprained an ankle, tweaked his knee or felt tightness in his hamstring?
Again, we hate to be critical or negative after a monster victory, but we're talking about a potential season-altering carelessness on McCarthy's part. Parsons should've been on the sidelines in bubblewrap the second Prescott was pulled.
With another potential lopsided affair against the Panthers on deck, we seriously hope McCarthy is smarter with No. 11 next week if it comes to that.
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