Ty Nsekhe has seen better practice reps.
The backup offensive tackle, who joined the Dallas Cowboys on a March free-agent deal, was enjoying a perfectly quiet offseason, holding down the fort while starting tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins work their way back from injuries.
Then he ran into the buzzsaw that is rookie first-round linebacker Micah Parsons, who spent Tuesday functioning as Dallas’ Designated Pass-Rusher — a.k.a. Nsekhe’s worst nightmare. The unstoppable force met the moveable object … and it didn’t end well.
“On one play, Parsons flew off the edge against backup tackle Ty Nsekhe causing the eight-year veteran from Texas State to lose his balance and head to the sidelines to get checked by the medical staff,” reported the Dallas Morning News. “Nsekhe returned, yet it’s Parsons’ speed that gives the Cowboys more defensive players to utilize.”
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The Cowboys drafted Parsons to be their middle linebacker of the future, the successor to Sean Lee, who retired this offseason. The sideline-to-sideline talent is tasked primarily with patrolling the front-seven, aiding against the run and in pass coverage. And he’s embraced his newfound duties with aplomb.
“Tuesday was a busy practice for Parsons, who had a pass breakup and a sack along with some pressures,” the report stated. “The Cowboys are also not afraid to have Parsons line up opposite a running back in the slot or play the middle linebacker position.”
Added Parsons: “Honestly, the last two weeks have been a big transition phase for me. Obviously learning more checks, being more vocal, playing a new position, actually playing multiple positions. It has been pretty hectic for me, but I think each and every day I’m picking up something and just going out there making early mistakes. That way I’m creating a base and a ground, getting ready for camp.”
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Parsons Inks Rookie Deal
The No. 12 overall pick of April’s draft, Parsons officially put pen to paper Wednesday, signing a multi-year contract. The team announced the agreement following its second minicamp practice.
Per CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry, a former sports agent, the total value of Parsons’ deal should check in around $17.079 million, based on the league’s slotted wage scale. He’s taking home a $9.781 million signing bonus and will count roughly $3.105 million against the Cowboys’ 2021 cap, per Corry.
Like all rookies, Parsons received a standard-issue four-year pact. Like all first-round selections, his contract is fully guaranteed and includes a fifth-year team option for 2025.
Parsons becomes the Cowboys’ third-highest-paid LB in cap dollars, behind veteran Leighton Vander Esch ($3.679 million) and ahead of free-agent addition Tarell Basham ($2.5 million). Altogether, the club is allocating $25.182 million to the position — or 11.99% of its payroll — 11th-most in the NFL, according to Spotrac.com.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL