Despite an impressive 49-17 thrashing of the Giants on Sunday in Week 10, a game in which everything seemed to click for Dallas, there was one statistical blurb that was a bit out of whack. The Cowboys’ Micah Parsons played 39 snaps and did not record a stat.
No sacks, no quarterback hits, no passes defended. Not even a tackle for Parsons, the leading contender for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
That night after the game, Parsons posted his apparent unhappiness on Twitter/X: “I ain’t been this speechless in a long time!”
I ain’t been this speechless in a long time! 🤯🤐🥴
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) November 13, 2023
When teammate Sam Williams posted a photo of a dog biting a cage with the caption, “No need to free me I’ll break the mf cage,” Parsons posted the reply, “Free me then.”
The implication was that, in light of the quiet showing vs. the Giants, Parsons was somehow caged.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was sympathetic to Parsons’ frustration, but said the Giants made the focus of their protection topping Micah Parsons, and when that happens, things get difficult.
“That’s any competitor, right? You want to make sure that you’re always making an impact, and sometimes his impact is other people’s chances to get things because of the attention that goes his way,” Quinn said in his press conference this week.
Cowboys’ Micah Parsons Had Cause for Frustration
Now, it is true that Sunday’s outing was hardly a typical Micah Parsons game for the Cowboys. He had good cause for frustration, because that stats show that he had never, in 41 NFL games, played an entire 60 minutes without a single tackle. Speechless, indeed.
But Quinn wants Parsons to acknowledge that the attention he draws creates opportunities for others on the defense. The defense as a whole swarmed, with 16 different players logging at least two tackles, and no one player getting more than four.
The Cowboys had five sacks on the day.
“Like I said, any competitor can get frustrated with that,” Quinn said. “And there will be games like that, there have been games like that and there will be more like that. But, his moments, you leave him for once or you don’t give him help, those are the times he makes you pay.
“But as any competitor goes, it can get frustrating at times, but those things are out of your control and you gotta keep attacking, and knowing that if this is gonna happen, there’s going to be other opportunities for other people and other players, and I think (Sunday) was a pretty good example of that.”
Second-Most Double-Teams in the NFL
Quinn is right in that Parsons draws attention like few other defensive players in the league. According to ESPN stats, Parsons is double-teamed 29% of the time on the field, second-most in the NFL behind Myles Garrett’s 32%.Despite that, he has 43 pass rush “wins” and an NFL-best 34% pass-rush win rate.
But he feels he needs to put up big numbers every week. Quinn understands. Few players hold themselves to a standard quite as high as Micah Parsons does.
“I think it’s hard,” Quinn said. “It’s on him. It’s hard for anybody to be in that space because what you’re capable of is exceptional. And so when somebody is trying to say, ‘You are not going to ruin the game,’ we’ll lie with that. That can be hard for any competitor. There are, I imagine, times where it’s easier to deal with and times where it’s not. (Sunday) was one of those where I imagine it would be harder.”