What Sets Micah Parsons Apart

November 03, 2023

Athlete Studio

This Sunday's highly anticipated matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys will showcase two of the most formidable pass rush units in the league. Leading the charge for the Cowboys is the exceptional Micah Parsons, whose dominance on the field cannot be questioned. With an impressive 47 pressures this season, Parsons stands far ahead of his teammates, with DeMarcus Lawrence coming in second with 26 pressures.

What sets Parsons apart is his incredible speed. According to NextGenStats, he delivered an astounding eight pressures against the Rams last week, with seven of them occurring in under 2.5 seconds. On average, he took just 2.03 seconds to apply pressure, making him the fastest pass rusher this season to record that many pressures in a single game.

While Parsons excels in one-on-one situations, he is also a versatile player who can be moved around strategically. Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn is not afraid to exploit potential mismatches by utilizing Parsons in different positions. In previous seasons, Parsons primarily targeted the opposing right tackle. However, this year he has lined up across the formation more frequently, making him a threat to any offensive line. The entire Eagles offensive line must be prepared to face the challenge presented by the dynamic No. 11.

However, the Dallas pass rush is not solely reliant on Parsons. The Cowboys boast a defense that leads the league in pressure percentage, relentlessly attacking quarterbacks at a rate of 48.9 percent (according to Pro Football Focus). The New York Jets come in second with a pressure rate of 43.9 percent, highlighting the significant gap between Dallas and other teams.

The Cowboys employ diverse strategies to reach the quarterback effectively. They consistently mix up their defensive formations, keeping offenses guessing and off balance. On crucial third downs, they deploy a rush package featuring three or sometimes four defensive ends on the field simultaneously. This is complemented by a dime package with six defensive backs, ensuring a formidable blend of speed and skill.

Speed is a defining characteristic of the Cowboys' defense. Their impressive quickness is evident in the various stunts and twists they execute along the defensive front, proving to be a highly effective tool for their pass rush.

Leading the league in stunt percentage (37.6 percent), the Cowboys rank second in EPA per play against and fourth in average yards per play allowed when executing stunts. The impact of their speed is further amplified by their significant presence in the top 10 blitz percentage, which stands at 35.0 percent. When combined with the speed of their linebackers and secondary, this creates a nightmarish scenario for opposing quarterbacks.

The Philadelphia Eagles must devise a solid plan to counter the Dallas pressure package on Sunday. This clash of top offenses and top defenses promises to be one of the most exciting matchups of Week 9. Football fans can expect a thrilling showdown between these two formidable teams.

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