Micah Parsons made a hell of a first impression on Ron Rivera


Micah Parsons made one hell of a first impression on the Washington Football Team Sunday and also might've literally left an impression during his first sack of Taylor Heinicke, one that resulted in a Cowboys touchdown. 

Parsons would go on to log another sack of Heinicke later on in the Dallas victory, and by the time the game had ended, many Burgundy and Gold fans likely shared the same thought: Wait, we have to see this dude again in 13 days... and then twice more per season after that!?

In a Monday interview with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay, Ron Rivera passed along his evaluation of the destined-to-be Defensive Rookie of the Year's performance at FedEx Field.

According to Rivera, the best part of Parsons isn't his rare skill set and individual highlights but how he frees up his teammates to thrive, too.

"It's not just his ability to play and impact the play, but his ability to play and impact the players around him," Rivera told Finlay.

Rivera also gave credit to Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who Rivera believes is "one of the really good coaches in this league" and who lets Parsons line up in a variety of ways.

Earlier this year, when Quinn's front was thinned out by injuries, he had Parsons attack opponents as a defensive end. On Sunday against Washington, meanwhile, Parsons' two sacks came when he began the sequence as a stand-up linebacker.

"I think the thing that's impressive about him is the way they use him and move him around," Rivera said. "The way they've set things up for Micah, you have to pay attention to him."


With someone as freakish as Parsons is, the offense's goal will of course be to limit him as best as possible (something Washington must do better when they meet again in Week 16). The problem is that, if a unit is too shaded toward the rookie, his teammates will wreak havoc of their own.

"You move him over here and if you focus your protection on this side, what does that do for Randy Gregory?" Rivera said. "What does that do for [Demarcus] Lawrence?

"You have to think a move and a move ahead, as well. When he's inside, we want to protect this way, but, 'Oh, man, that's going to create a one-on-one over here.'"

Washington had hoped Chase Young would similarly destroy gameplans this year as Parsons has, but Young wasn't able to do so before tearing his ACL right after the bye. To make matters worse, Parsons went just six selections ahead of Jamin Davis in the 2021 Draft, so Dallas is certainly ahead in that comparison. 

The NFL's truly transcendent players dominate so much that those in their orbits can't help but succeed alongside them. In Parsons, the Cowboys absolutely appear to have found such a threat.