Mike McCarthy Frustrated With Micah Parsons? Cowboys Coach Complains About Parsons’ OTA Absence

Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys aren't too thrilled that their best defensive player, Micah Parsons, remains out of voluntary workouts.

In his three seasons as a defensive weapon, Micah Parsons has increased his sack total each year he’s been a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Because of that, the two-time first-team All-Pro Linebacker and pass rusher is looking for a contract extension worthy of one of the top defensive players in the league.

Parsons even sat out voluntary workouts for the Cowboys over the last few weeks to ensure his contract needs were met. But despite the negotiating tactic, those in prominent leadership roles in Dallas aren’t entirely thrilled their best defensive player has been a no-show.

Mike McCarthy Frustrated With Micah Parsons

After originally spending time last week explaining that Parsons’ absence from OTAs (organized team activities) wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy seemingly walked back those comments Thursday morning.

McCarthy’s comments come just a week after defending Parsons’ choice, stating, “He (Parsons) looks great… He is in excellent shape. He’s been having one-on-one meetings. He hasn’t missed anything as far as install.”

While Parsons continues to be a no-show for the Cowboys during OTAs, the reason why is quite simple, and not something easily fixed by the Cowboys.

Dallas is in negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with each vying to become the highest-paid player at their respective positions. Simply put, that’s the reason Parsons, like Lamb, has been sitting out. The only difference is that Dallas’ All-Pro linebacker has to learn a new system while the other two do not.

When it comes to the new system Dallas is looking to run defensively, it makes Parsons’ lack of attendance hurt the entire group as a whole.

Who Is the Cowboys’ New Defensive Coordinator?

Dallas hired defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to run Parsons’ side of the ball, and he brings a different style of coverage and attitude than previous coach Dan Quinn.

In three seasons with Quinn, Dallas built a defense that finished in the top five in points allowed every year. In 2023, Dallas finished as a top-five unit in total yards, points, and passing yards allowed. They also saw Parsons and DaRon Bland receive All-Pro honors for their league-leading nine interceptions.

Despite the regular-season success, Quinn’s unit was torched by the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs 48-32. During that game, Green Bay totaled over 400 yards of offense while leading by as many as 32 points.

Quinn, quickly following the loss, left to become the head coach of the Washington Commanders. The Cowboys responded by bringing in Zimmer to run the defense.

Zimmer was head coach of the Vikings for eight seasons and helped lead them to the NFC Championship Game in 2017. His defenses have ranked in the upper echelon 10 times during his coaching career dating back to his previous DC experience with these same Cowboys in the early 2000s.

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Quinn’s zone defensive scheme differs in many ways from what Zimmer loves to run with his A-gap pressure. It’s why the Cowboys are hoping for Parsons to return to the practice field soon, even if it’s without a long-term extension.

That’s not something Parsons seems willing to do, though.

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