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Cowboys LB Micah Parsons skipped OTAs 'as a time for my body to heal'

Dallas Cowboys star edge rusher Micah Parsons exercised his right to skip voluntary organized team activities this offseason. Last week, Mike McCarthy called it a missed opportunity for Parsons to get immersed in Mike Zimmer's new defense.

Parsons, seeking a new contract, reported for mandatory minicamp this week and defended his decision to work out independently and rest his body.

"Yeah, you know, I think the more years you have, the more you understand that there's also like the business side to it," Parsons said, via NFL Network's Jane Slater. "You know, and I think that's what camp is for. I mean, there was a time where Aaron Donald didn't even go to camp and he won Defensive Player of the Year and then went to the playoffs. Like, are we forgetting these times? Like we wasn't talking about the best defensive player wasn't even in camp. And we're in minicamps. Voluntary at that. So you know, (mini)camp was something that is mandatory. So, I'm just looking at it as a time for my body to heal. I'm playing as an undersized rusher who is banged up every year. So I'm just letting my body heal. I'm just trying to grow, strengthen, and really just get ready for the year."

Parsons is correct that Donald famously sat out the 2017 offseason program and held out into training camp in search of a massive contract. Donald would go on to win back-to-back AP Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2017 and 2018.

The three-time Pro Bower pointed out there is plenty of time for him to get up to speed during training camp in July.

"You ever watch Remember the Titans? We're gonna be in Oxnard a very, very long time," he said. "There's gonna be a lot of chemistry on that field. And I think that's really the time where you see everything. Like it's hard to really teach someone without pads or true contact or hand points. Like it's just not realistic. We can't even touch someone or we're gonna lose a draft paper or something like that. Like it's just, it's outrageous, and I haven't really, I think right now it's just more technique. It's a lot of walkthroughs right now. So for my position ... where I'm at, it's a lot of individual, and I can do a lot individually by myself or with my trainer."

Parsons is absolutely correct that a diligent star player skipping voluntary workouts shouldn't be a big deal. No one is worried about Parsons getting out of shape or losing his edge. It's different for a quarterback, without whom the offense would practice different, than a defensive piece to attend voluntary workouts.

McCarthy's concern seemed more about the fact that the Cowboys are installing a new defense, but Parsons didn't sound too worried about that factor. He noted he's "pretty much caught up on everything" and has been talking with run game coordinator Paul Guenther. But the star conceded he's yet to really speak with Zimmer.

"Honestly, me and Zim have probably said a total of 20 words together," Parsons said. "He's a very quiet person. All I keep hearing from the coaches, 'Zim likes it [like] this' Well, I like it this way. So I can't wait to sit down with him because that would be pretty cool. Obviously, old school mindset, old school mentality. You know I think he's had a lot of great players but he ain't ever had a Micah.

"Obviously, some things I've got to get used to, too. You know it's going to be a compromising relationship."

Underscoring the entire situation is the fact that Parsons is in line for a massive contract extension -- as are CeeDee Lamb, who is skipping minicamp, and Dak Prescott -- but the linebacker insisted he's not worried about that.

"One day. Time will tell. I can't really put a timetable on it. All I gotta do is keep getting sacks," he said, noting he expects to reset the market when he signs.

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