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Mike McCarthy: Cowboys LB Micah Parsons skipping OTAs an 'opportunity that's been missed' 

Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons has skipped most of the voluntary portion of offseason workouts. The linebacker showed up for Wednesday's media availability but didn't participate in practice and was again absent Thursday.

Coach Mike McCarthy said the LB is in "really good shape" but noted skipping the early install of Mike Zimmer's new defense is a missed opportunity.

"I think any time that you have a chance to be together, it's an opportunity to improve," McCarthy said, via the team's official website. "Whether it's in the mental realm, the physical realm and the emotional connection and so forth. It's a long year. Training camp is really the heightened focus for all of that, but it's definitely an opportunity that's been missed [for Parsons]."

McCarthy's comment was more a factual admission than a gripe on the star player exercising his right to skip voluntary workouts. There is zero organizational doubt Parsons will be ready for training camp in July.

"At the end of the day, everybody has a responsibility," McCarthy said. "It's our jobs. Obviously, we have this period of time to have football activity that's regulated. I wouldn't say fortunately, but 98 percent of our football team has been here. We've accomplished a lot.

"Everybody has a responsibility whether they're here or not here to get what they need, because when we get to Oxnard that is our one opportunity for real football."

The Cowboys are transitioning from Dan Quinn's defense, which Parsons has played in his entire career, to Zimmer, so there will be an adjustment period. McCarthy said that despite Parsons not being at the facility, he's been in contact with Zimmer and the rest of the staff, so he knows how the defense will look.

"He's engaged, and he'll be ready when it's time," McCarthy said. "I have confidence in that. That interaction is going on [with Zimmer]. I feel comfortable that he will be ready to go."

If a player in the league can get away with skipping voluntary workouts, it's probably Parsons -- a non-QB with zero concerns about staying in shape. Would it be nice to have a defensive leader there every day? Sure. But it's not the end of the world that Parsons is exercising his right to skip voluntary workouts.

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