Micah Parsons of the Cowboys on his officiating: ‘Refs don’t grasp the plays I can make with my speed.’

‘Refs don’t comprehend the plays I can make with my speed,’ Micah Parsons, who plays for the Cowboys, said this about the way he is officiated.
During the current season, Parsons has only had three holding calls on blockers, according to Sportradar. This places him four behind the league leaders in the NFL, who have seven. FRISCO, Texas — In every single one of the professional sports, certain individuals are just officiated differently than others merely because their physical abilities much surpass those of their contemporaries.

This discrepancy is particularly obvious in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where a player like Shaquille O’Neal, a center who is now in the Hall of Fame, had to be officiated differently while he was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition to his size and power, O’Neal’s speed and agility on the low block made it tough for opposing big men to stop him while playing typical low post defense.

This was the case even when O’Neal was down on the low block. It was as simple as that, which meant that his defenders had to turn to a type of defense that, according to the rules, meant they were fouling him pretty much every time he touched the basketball in the paint. The defenders for O’Neal would get into foul trouble, but not all of them would wind up getting called for fouls. The game would not be able to be played if this were not the case.

Micah Parsons, an edge rusher with the Dallas Cowboys who has been named to the First Team All-Pro twice, is currently in his third season in the National Football League. With 97 quarterback pressures, a quarterback pressure rate of 23%, and a pass rush win percentage of 37.6%, the 24-year-old quarterback is the leader in the National Football League.

Micah Parsons of the Cowboys on his officiating: ‘Refs don’t grasp the plays I can make with my speed.’


“Oh man, it’s distinct, unique, whip out your vocabulary,” Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy remarked on Wednesday in response to a question about how to define Parsons’ speed and talents. It is because of his speed, his ability to get off the field, and his ability to split two that he is the most effective pressure player in the National Football League. He also possesses an incredible skill set. Undoubtedly, he is one of a kind.

Parsons believes that his impact could be even greater than it already is for the Cowboys’ fifth-ranked scoring defense (19.1 points per game allowed) and that he is being restricted by the way he is officiated. This is even though it is obvious that Parsons is on track to become only the fifth defensive player in the history of the National Football League to be selected to the first team of All-Pro players in each of his first three seasons.

The only thing I do is keep the ball rolling, bro. I won’t say too much. When asked about the effort to draw more holding calls during games on Wednesday, Parsons responded by saying, “It is what it is.” I’m not a guy who is going to fake it because I believe I still can make that play, and I’m not a man who is going to be a losing player. Over the first 2.3 seconds of the play, a great number of plays are produced. I just need to keep playing through things and these problems and adversities, but I’m going to keep moving forward. At the end of the day, I just have to keep pushing forward.

While Parsons’ 13 sacks are tied for seventh-most in the National Football League for this season with Myles Garrett, an All-Pro defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, the underlying pressure measures indicate that Parsons’ number in that category might be significantly higher. Over thirty percent, or 37.6%, to be exact, he is the only player in the National

Football League who has a pass rush victory rate. This is the percentage of times a defender beats his block in less than two and a half seconds. Garrett’s clip of 28.4% was the second-best in the NFL as of the beginning of Week 17. On the other hand, according to the information that was given to CBS Sports by Sportradar, Parsons has only been able to draw three holding penalties in 2023. This places him tied for 24th place among NFL defenders as of Week 17.

According to Sportradar, the players that have the most holding penalties drawn in the National Football League are Twenty-three sacks leader and Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt, Las Vegas Raiders Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby, and Denver Broncos defensive lineman Zach Allen, who each have seven. To what extent is this metric significant? Therefore, if offensive linemen are afraid of the consequences of being called for holding when blocking Parsons, then there would be more room for Parsons to get to opposing quarterbacks cleanly.

Micah Parsons of the Cowboys on his officiating: ‘Refs don’t grasp the plays I can make with my speed.’

This would be the case if the people blocking him were less likely to try to get a fistful of jersey as he bends around the edge or explodes up the middle through the A gap against a center and/or a guard.

In Week 2 of the 2017 season, Parsons was measured at an average pass rush get-off time of 0.57 seconds against the New York Jets, according to the NextGen Stats presented by the National Football League. 2017 pace is the fastest of any player in a game during the previous two years. He believes that the referees refereeing him differently than other great pass rushers because he is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds.

“To be honest – and I mean this in the most humblest way possible – I don’t think there’s another rusher like me in the league,” Parsons told reporters. “I don’t believe that there is a rusher who wins as quickly as I do,” the speaker said. I don’t believe there is a rusher who does the things that I do, and I want to make sure that something is recorded. I have a good feeling that other people who rush can tell you that.

I believe that they have elevated me to the same level as other rushers, even though we are not the same. You are not able to compare me to a large number of other rushers in any way, and how they scheme me is not even comparable to how they scheme other rushers. In my opinion, they do not consider that at all. Those individuals are unaware of the fact that I am 4.3 [40-yard dash speed] off the edge, while other individuals may be 4.4, 4.5, or whatever.

Parsons responded, “Yeah, I think that,” when asked if he believes that officials are arbitrarily referring to him differently. “I think the refs understand that I’m a good player, but they don’t understand the actual plays that I can make with my speed and what I can control.”

Micah Parsons of the Cowboys on his officiating: ‘Refs don’t grasp the plays I can make with my speed.’

Earlier this season, Parsons said he’s not someone who is trying to “play pat-a-guy” to work the officials by chatting them up during a game to receive a more friendly whistle. Ahead of facing the NFC North division champion Detroit Lions in primetime Saturday night in the penultimate game of the 2023 NFL regular season, he is more willing to pull a referee aside to figure out where his opinion and their opinion differs on a given play.

“Of course, and I look at him and he says, ‘I didn’t see it,'” Parsons said. “And I say, ‘I don’t know what you’re looking at.’ It’s weird because you got two people [referees] back there [behind the line of scrimmage]. You look on this side, you got another person on this side. I don’t know what’s going on. Some of this stuff is so intentional and so vile that I don’t know how you could miss it. Hands to the face, I get called for that, but you know how many times I get hands to the face in a game? It’s just mind-blowing.”

Many players would brush their disagreements about in-game officiating to the side and not go on the record in the vivid way in which Parsons has about this issue. Given the game-changing ability that getting into a quarterback’s face can have, he feels like what he is going through as the league’s best at this element of the game of football that it’s his responsibility to advocate not only for himself but other pass rushers around the league.

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