Micah Parsons Drafted by Cowboys: Dallas' Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons (11) tackles Rutgers tight end Johnathan Lewis (11) in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, in State College, Pa. Andre Odom joined Athletes First as an agent two years ago and later this month two of his clients — Kyle Pitts and Micah Parsons — could be picked in the top 10 of the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger, File)
Barry Reeger/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the No. 12 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Parsons sat out the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns, but that did nothing to impact the stock of perhaps the best defensive player in this class. 

The 2019 All-American recorded 109 total tackles and five sacks as a sophomore, emerging as one of the Big Ten's most dominant forces. Parsons, who is listed at 6'3" and 246 poundsis also considered one of the best athletes in this class, capable of covering the entire field against the run and pass.

"Parsons might emerge as the best defensive player in the draft when it's all said and done," NFL Network's Bucky Brooks said in February. "He is a freak athlete with explosive strength, power and speed. As an A+ blitz specialist with a nasty disposition, Parsons could play at a superstar level early in his career in the right system."

While the year off may wind up giving Parsons a little rust when he returns to the field, Dallas undoubtedly expects him to step in from Week 1 as an every-down linebacker.

Parsons was ranked No. 11 by ESPN's Mel Kiper on his final board as the top defensive player in the 2021 class.

Where Parsons fits on the field will be a choice the Cowboys will have to make once camp begins. Despite not racking up the stats and being more of a rangy 4-3 outside linebacker type in college, it's possible his explosion off the edge could translate into a double-digit sack season or two.

Here is the latest depth chart going into 2021.


LDE: Demarcus Lawrence, Bradlee Anae

DT: Neville Gallimore, Justin Hamilton

DT: Trysten Hill, Antwaun Woods

RDE: Carlos Watkins, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong

OLB: Micah Parsons

MLB: Leighton Vander Esch, Francis Bernard

OLB: Jaylon Smith, Luke Gifford

CB: CJ Goodwin, Rashard Robinson

CB: Trevon Diggs, Deante Burton

CB: Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown

FS: Keanu Neal, Reggie Robinson II

SS: Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse


Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.

The Cowboys already have two quality linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, but Parsons provides a different perspective with his athleticism. He could play as a pass-rusher or drop into coverage, likely becoming a three-down player before too long.

At the very least, Dallas will have a good "problem" in finding ways to utilize Parsons' versatility. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.