Cowboys Pick Up Micah Parsons’ Fifth-Year Option

With the draft approaching, teams continue to make decisions on 2021 first-round selections’ futures. To no surprise, the Cowboys will keep edge rusher Micah Parsons in the fold for at least the next two years.

Dallas has picked up Parsons’ option, ESPN’s Todd Archer reports. The move – which the team has since announced – will come at a cost of $21.32MM, since the former No. 12 pick has been designated as a defensive end. A tender with an outside linebacker classification would have been costlier, but Parsons is nevertheless in line for a monster second contract.

Dallas, of course, has massive financial decisions to make with respect to Parsons, quarterback Dak Prescott and wideout CeeDee Lamb. Each member of that trio is due for a considerable raise, although Prescott is currently entering a walk year and Lamb – having been drafted one year before Parsons – represents a more pressing priority. The latter has said he is willing to wait on contract talks, but classifying defenders as defensive ends (rather than outside linebackers) often leads to grievances.

In many cases, compromises are made with time to spare in terms of multi-year deals being worked out or middle ground figures being agreed to on an option. Parsons has certainly made a case to take the top spot in the league in terms of annual compensation amongst edge rushers, a title which currently belongs to Nick Bosa ($34MM). That extension was signed on the eve of the 2023 campaign, and it has been followed by an historic jump in the salary cap ceiling. Parsons delivered a third straight Pro Bowl campaign this year, leading to a third-place finish in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

The 24-year-old has recorded 13, 13.5 and 14 sacks during his decorated career so far. That has earned him first-team All-Pro acclaim on two occasions (along with a second-team nod in 2023), cementing his status as a foundational member of Dallas’ defense. That will remain the case for at least the intermediate future, but progress on a long-term deal will be a story to follow this offseason.

A recent report on the Parsons situation indicated an agreement is still expected to be reached on a mega-extension. The Cowboys have been notably hesitant on the quarterback and receiver fronts this offseason, aiming to gauge the outside market at those positions before committing to Prescott and/or Lamb. Regardless of what happens with those two, a massive Parsons investment will be needed relatively soon to keep him in the fold and avoid any contractual conflict over his classification.

View Comments (2)