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17 days later, Micah Parsons finally addresses Cowboys’ “embarrassing” playoff loss

In Sports
February 01, 2024

It’s become common in some online circles for articles regarding a person’s comments on a given subject to appear under a clickbait-y headline suggesting that so-and-so “breaks his silence” about whatever the issue may be.

The technique implies that the person has been silent for an extended stretch. Usually, that’s not the case. It’s just more likely to garner a click.

On Wednesday, Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons literally broke 17 days of complete and total silence about the team’s 48-32 loss at home to the Packers in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

Parsons failed to address reporters after the game, despite league rules. The next day, when players routinely speak to reporters while cleaning out their lockers for the offseason, Parsons also didn’t speak. He reserved his remarks to the Wednesday edition of his podcast, The Edge with Micah Parsons.

“It’s that you lose the way you do and at home,” Parsons said, via CBSSports.com. “We had talked about how much [better] we had played at home, how much it stood for us to be at home and then to go like that at home was completely embarrassing and unacceptable. I couldn’t even look at that loss or feel any type of way because of how embarrassed I felt It took me a while to even show my face in public. I disappeared completely.”

Indeed he did. The league’s longstanding requirement for players to be available after games aims to get fresh, raw reactions to whatever happened on the field: good, bad, or ugly.

For the Cowboys, it was both bad and ugly. And, to use Parsons’s words, it was embarrassing and unacceptable.

Parsons also had a recommendation for the front office, along with a pointed critique.

“I hope that we go out and get the players we’re missing because we didn’t do that this year,” Parsons said.

Do you hear that, Jerry Jones? One of your best players thinks you failed to get the players the team was missing to get to where they’re trying to go.

In a roundabout way, that attitude helps Jones, as he tries to navigate the salary-cap challenges that the team faces. Apart from negotiating a multi-year extension that will reduce quarterback Dak Prescott‘s sky-high $59.4 million cap charge is the reality that Parsons has become eligible for the second contract he deserves. Jones can try (he might not succeed, but he can try) to persuade Parsons to take less than he should otherwise get, in order to ensure that enough cap space is available to address the deficiencies he believes exist on the roster.

Parsons should nevertheless try to get everything he should. He’s the best defensive player on the team, and he’s one of the best in the league. But with only so many cap dollars to go around, Jones will likely try to get Parsons to take less, so that the team will have more to devote elsewhere, especially with receiver CeeDee Lamb entering his fifth-year option after having the best season of his career.

Part of the problem comes from the team’s effort to lowball Prescott in the early years of his contract. They made him finish his slotted, fourth-round rookie deal and they slapped him with the franchise tag before finally paying up, in the form of a contract that now has them over a barrel. They might even be inclined to try to get Parsons to wait until after his fourth season, since both Prescott and Lamb before him had to wait.

Only Parsons can decide how to strike the right balance. They’ll surely make him an offer. If he isn’t inclined to take it, the can will get kicked another year. If he remains healthy and effective at a position that can tear a body up prematurely, the eventual price will only go up.

The good news is that the cap will keep going up, and up. And up. Parsons should be one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL. But with two more years of his rookie deal and the availability of the franchise tag, the Cowboys might force him to choose between a good-not-great contract and making $2.9 million in 2024 and whatever his fifth-year option will be in 2025, with the threat/promise of the franchise tag hovering over 2026.

By making his feelings known about what the Cowboys need to do to get to where he wants them to go, he makes it harder to avoid the team engineering, in subtle but tangible fashion, the perception that his desire to get what he should keeps the team from getting the kind of talent around him needed to make it deeper into the playoffs than the divisional round — for the first time since four years before Parsons was born.

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