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Cowboys roster outlook: Linebackers | #DallasCowboys

We're doing a series to provide an outlook on the Cowboys' roster until training camp arrives. Episode 9, the linebackers

How could we start this one talking about anyone but Micah Parsons? The Cowboys' second-year defender is already one of the best in the NFL - and in two different positions. When Parsons aligns as an edge, he can constantly create havoc for the offensive lineman, with his combination of blend and speed really difficult to defend; when he's behind the line as a linebacker, he can quickly shoot gaps to defend the run game and read the quarterback's eyes to play in coverage. The whole package.

It's a little bit of a surprise to see Leighton Vander Esch still on the roster, but to his credit, he improved his coverage skills in 2021 and he remains a competent player, even if his neck problem limited his potential compared to what we all saw in his rookie year. When Parsons aligns as the MLB, he can still make plays as SAM. It's a great duo to have on the field.

Not much to be said about the depth of the group. Jabril Cox makes for a decent option and there are two rookies on the roster fighting to make the 53-man list. With Parsons and Vander Esch, this group is great just by grading the starters.

Linebacker room grade: 4,5/5. The question is how much playing time Parsons will see as a 'backer, but his duo with Vander Esch is one of the best in the league.