FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are off to the best start in the NFL through two weeks of the 2023 season. They lead the league in 12 different categories, including point differential (+60), turnover margin (seven) and sacks (10, tied with the Commanders).
One of the biggest drivers of this success is third-year linebacker Micah Parsons, a First-Team All-Pro selection in each of his first two NFL seasons. So far in 2023, he has been nothing but dominant: Parsons' 12 quarterback pressures are the third most in the league behind Aidan Hutchinson and T.J. Watt (both 13), while his three sacks are tied for the third-most, trailing only Danielle Hunter and Watt (both four). Parsons also leads the entire NFL with a 21.8% quarterback pressure rate among players who have rushed the passer at least 40 times.
Parsons has long pushed head coach Mike McCarthy to let him participate on the offensive side of the ball as well, and it turns out he might be getting his wish soon. He revealed McCarthy has begun giving him scout-team reps on the offensive side of the ball at tight end.
"Big Mike [McCarthy] let me get a couple scout-team reps at tight end," Parsons recounted during an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Tuesday. "He might not have let y'all know that. I probably shouldn't have spilled the tea.
On Wednesday, McCarthy clarified that Parsons may have exaggerated the amount of offensive work he has received in practice up to this point.
"He played a snap there [at tight end]," McCarthy said. "I will not give you an evaluation on that, but, yes, it's something you entertain. Definitely. Micah, honestly, does have that ability."
However, the All-Pro pass rusher can't wait for a do-over on his rep during this week's Friday practice.
"He [McCarthy] was very disappointed in my route, but I told him I didn't warm up and that I just went out there on the fly. I look forward to running it back this Friday."
Once upon a time, Parsons displayed some nifty moves with the football in his hands back in high school when he got some snaps at running back.
He also showed some smooth footwork and balance during his 36-yard fumble return touchdown against the Chicago Bears last season. He dove on top of a fumble by then-Bears running back David Montgomery, got low enough to avoid quarterback Justin Fields jumping toward him and then sprinted 36 yards for his first career touchdown.
Another All-Pro pass rusher, Houston Texans legend JJ Watt, contributed at tight end throughout his NFL career, catching four touchdowns across the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Three-time Super Bowl champion linebacker Mike Vrabel, now the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, also lined up as a goal line tight end during his 14-year playing career, hauling in 10 receiving touchdowns. Perhaps McCarthy might allow Parsons to join these versatile defensive stalwarts as offensive contributors at some point this regular season.
"Mike is super cool. ... I just keep trying to show him glimpses of whatever opportunities I can get to let him know I'm trying (to) touch this ball in the NFL."