Oxnard, Calif. ( Associated Press) — The signing of linebacker Anthony Barr as a free agent could move young star Micah Parsons closer to being the Dallas Cowboys’ premier headhunter.
That position had further variations on the team’s mind with the arrival of Barr, a four-time Pro Bowl selector who spent his first eight seasons in Minnesota. Dallas had shown interest in him long before training camp began in California.
Barr is starting his stint with the Cowboys physically unable to practice, not because of an injury, but because Dallas is taking a conservative path with the 30-year veteran getting ready for practice.
Parsons had 13 sacks and won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. It tied for the third-best record for freshmen since 1982, when sacks officially began to be counted as statistics.
Due to injuries early 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 the top three options in the mix, including Leighton Vander esque, are first-round draft picks.
Coach Mike McCarthy said, “I think when you look at the player package and how you use Micah, we have another weapon, another great player.” “I think when you put the package together as you build your system for the 17-game season, the defensive staff are very excited to get another piece.”
The most sacks for Barr in his career were four in his rookie year with the Vikings in 2014, when he was the ninth overall pick. The 6-foot-3 (6-5) bar has more physique as a traditional linebacker in the Vander esque, 6-foot-3 (6-4) mold.
When Parsons lined up at the defensive end, in which the Cowboys are involved in an sometimes imagined 3-point position, Barr and Vander Ash can pair up on the second level behind him.
“I will continue to help him develop the level of his game and allow him to be the best player he can be,” Barr said of Parsons. “What he has achieved is impressive. I think he can elevate his game and take his game to another level. I look forward to being a resource and a tool for him and for him and me.” I learn from the rest of my peers.”