It’s hard to imagine that before the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys were believed to be fixated on a cornerback becoming their first round selection as owners of the 10th overall pick. But those plans were spoiled after the top two cornerback prospects in that year’s class, South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, were drafted with the eighth and ninth overall selections by the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos respectively, just ahead of the Cowboys’ top pick.
Dallas was forced to punt on their draft strategy and elected to trade their top selection to a divisional rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, who promptly drafted Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. But the Cowboys only dropped two spots receiving the 12th overall selection as part of the trade, and also got a extra third rounder (84th overall) for their troubles. Dallas would use that additional third round pick to draft Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston.
Little did the Cowboys know that the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year would fall to them with that 12th overall selection, which they used on Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. By the end of that same year, Parsons would be heralded as a generational talent racking up 13.0 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, 20 tackles for loss and a combined 84 tackles in his very first season in the NFL.
Entering Year Two, Parsons has his sights set on becoming the most dominate defensive force in the league. And the majority of the analyst over at NFL.com, the league’s official website, believe he’ll do just that. In fact, in a recent prediction article appearing on the site, 10 of the 25 analysts selected to participate in the prediction selected Parsons as their choice for the next NFL Defensive Player of the Year award winner.
“The Cowboys took a gifted linebacker in last year’s draft and eventually discovered they had one of the league’s best pass rushers. Imagine what schemes Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will cook up to maximize Parsons in Year 2.”NFL.com analyst Jeffri Chadiha
The sky is the limit for the Dallas Cowboys’ defense, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Micah Parsons entering the 2022 NFL season. And that’s due in no small part to a draft day move that seemingly had the Cowboys scrambling in the first round only to result in America’s Team landing the best young defender in the NFL and a possible future NFL Defensive Player of the Year.