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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Barr can help young Cowboys star Parsons chase sacks

Oxnard, Calif. ( Associated Press) — The signing of free agent linebacker Anthony Barr could get young star Micah Parsons closer to being a pass rush primarily for the Dallas Cowboys.

The club had depth in mind with the addition of Barr, a four-time pro bowler who spent his first eight seasons in Minnesota. Dallas had shown interest in him long before training camp in California.

Barr is starting his stint with the physically disabled performing Cowboys, not for injury, but because the club is taking a conservative approach, preparing the 30-year-old for camp practices.

Parsons had 13 sacks on his way to winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the third-most tied for a first-year player since it became an official statistic in 1982.

Due to injuries at the start of last season, Parsons played most of his snaps at the defensive end at times, and the Cowboys usually had two other linebackers on the field.

The addition of the bar means that the top three choices in the new mix, which include Leighton Wenders esque, are first-round picks.

“I think when you look at the package and how we present Micah, I think it gives you another weapon, another excellent player on and off the ball,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think as you build your system for the 17-game season you get in and out of the package, I know the defensive staff are excited to get another piece.”

Barr’s career high for the buffs is from his rookie year with the Vikings in 2014, when he was the ninth overall pick. The 6-foot-5 bar as a traditional linebacker is more of a vendor-esque (6-4) mold.

When Parsons lined up at the defensive end, including the three-point stance the Cowboys envision on occasion, Barr and Vander Ash can be added to the second level behind him.

“I’m just trying to help unlock his game and allow him to be the best player he can be,” Barr said of Parsons. “So amazing what he was able to achieve. I think he can continue to move forward and take it to the next level. I look forward to being a tool and a resource for him and learning from him and from all the people.” I’m hoping for.”

Barr was a steady presence during his first six seasons in Minnesota, which included four straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 2015–18. A torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the season in Week 2 in 2020. He missed the first four games last year with a knee injury.

Because he went unsigned through the offseason, Barr’s first practice at the camp would be his first since the end of last season. He added that there was no specific timeline for finding a new team.

“Timing is everything,” said Barr. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It was the perfect time for both parties. Hopefully, it’s a good marriage.”

Second-year player Jabril Cox was cleared for camp after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in Week 8 against Minnesota last season, although he was recently given a few days off.

The Cowboys are high on fifth-round rookie Damon Clarke, who fell into the draft due to spinal fusion surgery that could have sidelined him this entire season. Injuries to Cox and Clark are two more reasons the Cowboys were interested in the bar.

McCarthy recalls Barr facing the Vikings as a coach at Green Bay. And part of Barr’s interest in Dallas came from senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who was Minnesota’s defensive coordinator for Barr’s first six seasons.

“We always had to be very mindful of the matchups that happened with you,” McCarthy said. “We want to have many in our defensive packages and we want to continue to develop different rush plans. He’s a great fit for us.”

Comments: The Cowboys are thin at RB in camp with Rico Dowdall and rookie Aaron Champlin in the COVID-19 protocol. He also lost his only fullback for at least a couple of weeks as Ryan Nal was battling a shoulder injury.

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More Associated Press NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl And https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_NFL

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