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Slimmer Micah Parsons Expects Improvement in Year Two

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Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons | Image by NBC

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Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons burst onto the scene in his rookie year last season, earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Pro Bowl honors, and finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

He told reporters at the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, that he is ready to build upon a successful first year.

“Last year, I was just trying to earn the respect of my fellow teammates and fellow players across the league,” he told WFAA. “This year, just want to go out there and dominate, now.”

One main reason Parsons expects to improve from his rookie year is a change in diet. The linebacker revealed that he has given up fried foods, resulting in a newer, slimmer version of himself.

“Just fixed my diet up,” he said. “Hung up the Chick-Fil-A, the Wendy’s, and stuff like that. But I’m not no vegetarian, I’ll tell you that.”

Last season, Parsons usually played at around a 250-pound weight, reaching a max weight of 254. Now he is weighing in at an agile 244, which Parsons believes will allow him to terrorize opposing offenses even more this season.

“Just creating more turnovers, getting my hands on the ball,” Parsons continued. “I’ve been focusing on my hands and my coverage. I’m trying to eliminate all weaknesses in my game.”

When asked what weaknesses he had in his game, Parsons responded: “I wouldn’t say I had like, a lot of weakness, but just not understanding the full concepts of every defense. So, I was going through growing pains throughout the year, sometimes guessing. But now that I know and figured it out, I just feel way more relaxed.”

“If I can eliminate a few extra steps that I ain’t have to take, then those can be TFLs, sacks, or however you may look at it,” he added.

Parsons already dominated the competition on his old diet, so it is conceivable that the linebacker will have even more success with a stronger and healthier body in the 2022 season.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy also predicts a big jump for Parsons in his second year, especially after he lost weight and had a “really good offseason.”

“Obviously, Year 2, and how people look at him and how they’ll have to game plan against him. We’ve had a whole year to implement the schemes around that and make sure we’re giving him the opportunities he needs,” McCarthy told Sports Illustrated. “He’s definitely put himself in the position to take a big second-year jump.”     

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