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Micah Parsons hopes Cowboys get 'nasty interior' lineman, would give Tony Pollard 'another shot'

Micah Parsons is never shy about putting on his general manager hat.

After the Cowboys' exit from the playoffs, owner Jerry Jones promised in January to go all-in for the 2024 season, which Parsons soon responded to by saying he hopes Dallas acquires the players the team was missing for a Super Bowl run in 2023.

Amid a weekend that included winning MVP of the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, the three-time Pro Bowler delved further into the type of player the Cowboys lacked, touched on his own contract status and evaluated Tony Pollard's place as an RB1.

"I would say toward the end of the season Tony Pollard was catching his rhythm again," Parsons said on The Stephen A. Smith Show. "I do think he's an every-down guy. You've got to think, he broke his fibula, tibia, something, that's a catastrophic injury. You're talking about a guy that's really been off from that January, came back Week 1 but he didn't really do a lot. It takes a while to get back into football. He didn't do OTAs. He didn't do minicamp. He kind of did camp a little bit like working through it, getting back into it. You saw him increase, like he even said, 'I'm just now getting back to myself.' I would give Tony Pollard another shot."

Pollard was battling back from a fractured fibula, but he unquestionably lacked his signature zip during his first year as the team's lead back, and he now heads into free agency after a year on the franchise tag.

Despite eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for a second straight season, totaling 1,005 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, Pollard's yards-per-carry average dropped from 5.2 the year prior to 4.0.

His efficiency also plummeted in the pass game. He caught a career-high 55 passes for a career-low 5.7 yards per reception.

Regardless, Parsons is as confident in the running back's ability to bounce back if he returns to Dallas as he is in knowing the specific type of pieces that would boost the defensive side of the ball, and he shared his opinion with Jones on the latter while speaking together during Super Bowl LVIII.

"We just sit and talk from before the game until the whole half about players I want to bring in, players I want to be around, who do I need, who do I want to be with, future of our team," Parsons said of his discussion with Jones. "That's just dope to have that type of feedback with an owner that loves to hear your ideas and what you think and where the team can be."

As for Parsons' vision of the 2024 Cowboys, it's all about getting bigger.

"I said look at every team that was in that final four," Parsons explained. "Who did they have? Who did Baltimore have? A great linebacking corps, right? Who did San Fran have? Great linebacking corps. K.C. (Nick) Bolton, and they came along. We need to get another bigger linebacker. And I said we need to get a super, 330 nasty interior [lineman].

"I saw the way Chris Jones affected that Super Bowl and I was like, 'My God.' And not even Chris Jones. Mike Pennel. I think we've got a lot of rushers. I think Osa (Odighizuwa), he can play inside, outside, one of the most versatile DTs. When we lost (Johnathan) Hank(ins), he's a big dude, but we need to get one of them big old, nasty, pass-rushing, get-going [guys]."

Such size in the middle across multiple levels of the Cowboys defense would not only get Dallas on par with some of the teams that advanced farther in the playoffs, but it would also pull resources away from slowing down Parsons -- something teams already struggle at to begin with.

The 24-year-old has never finished worse than third in Defensive Player of the Year voting in his three NFL seasons. With 40.5 career sacks already on his resume, he's setting himself up for a massive payday that, along with extensions for other stars like CeeDee Lamb, could potentially limit the premium talent the Cowboys can find in free agency elsewhere.

Barring a new deal before the May 2 deadline, Parsons is a lock to have his fifth-year rookie option exercised this offseason, which would give him a considerable boost for the 2025 season but might delay a multi-year extension for a time.

Parsons has been honest about Lamb being a priority considering the wideout is one year ahead of him timeline-wise, but he's also aware how beneficial patience toward working out a deal can be in general.

"If they call my number and say 'Hey, we ready,' we're ready, but if not, I'm going to put another Pro Bowl year," Parsons said. "It only gets more expensive."

At some point, the Cowboys will find out exactly how pricey keeping Parsons around proves.

In the meantime, they'll also need to make decisions on Pollard and how to best beef up their defense to finally break through in the playoffs.

No matter what transpires, Parsons plans on being there to see things through.

"I'll retire before I go somewhere else," he said.

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