"We were starting to plan packages and personnel groups," McCarthy said. "We just want to get Micah here, get him comfortable in the room, and it is going to be more about selecting not only what he can do but how it fits everybody else. Once again, he is a multidimensional and multipositional player for us."
How the Cowboys make it work with the linebacker group of Parsons, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch will be among Quinn's biggest challenges in taking over a defense that allowed a franchise-record 473 points in 2020.
Parsons was the highest-ranked defensive player on the Cowboys' draft board, according to owner and general manager Jerry Jones. McCarthy said Parsons could play all three linebacker roles and serve as a designated pass-rusher.
"I play with a lot of effort; that's what I think I do best," Parsons said. "I'm always trying to get to the ball. I'm like a ball hawk. See ball, get ball. 'Waterboy' type."The Cowboys can hope Parsons is another Bobby Boucher.
Parsons, 21, seems to feel at home with the Cowboys. He grew up a Cowboys fan because of his father, Terrence. Micah was even comfortable enough to call the owner "my man, Jerry Jones." He visited The Star twice while a player at Penn State. His best game was his last game, the 2019 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium, when he tied his career high with 14 tackles and had three tackles for loss and two sacks."There were, what, six, seven plays on his highlights on his point of attack tape that was on there," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said.
In the two days after Parsons was drafted, McCarthy was asked if he could be compared to Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner or two players from Quinn's past, Vic Beasley with the Atlanta Falcons and Bruce Irvin with the Seahawks. Wagner has been one of the best all-around linebackers in the NFL. Beasley and Irvin were more pass-rush threats.
"I don't think you can be one-dimensional in the league now with how many backs there are; receiving backs and tight ends that are going out into the slot," Parsons said. "Me being versatile will have me here for a long time."