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Cowboys select Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with 12th choice

The cornerbacks weren't there, but Micah Parsons fell to the Cowboys at No. 12 in the 2021 NFL Draft, giving Dallas' D a much-needed infusion of talent that reminds Mike Florio of a certain Seahawks linebacker.

This year’s draft didn’t work out nearly as well as last year’s did for the Cowboys, who had Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb fall into their laps.

On Thursday night, the Cowboys had hoped to draft one of the top cornerbacks and had expected either and/or both Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain still to be on the board at No. 10. They weren’t. Horn went to the Panthers at No. 8 and Surtain to the Broncos at No. 9.

So the Cowboys traded with a division rival, falling back two spots and getting a 2021 third-round pick in return. That gives Dallas four choices Friday, with one in the second round (No. 44 overall) and three in the third round (No. 75, No. 84 and No. 99).

With the 12th overall choice, Dallas selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

He will help a defense that gave up the most points in franchise history last season.

He joins a linebackers room that includes a former first-round choice in Leighton Vander Esch and a former second-round choice in Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch made the Pro Bowl as a rookie but played only 19 games combined the past two seasons because of neck issues.

Sean Lee, another former Penn State linebacker whom the Cowboys drafted in the second round in 2010, retired last week.