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Cowboys' Micah Parsons wants to have Aaron Donald-like impact, no longer concerned with sack numbers

Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons used to set sack goals. Now he's done putting a number on QB takedowns.

"I'm kinda off the sack wave. I'm onto the impact wave," Parsons told reporters on Thursday. "You see Aaron Donald. He can have 12 sacks, but the impact he makes is so dominant. You can tell. I really just want to be dominant. And then you see guys who have 16-17 sacks, but they're not considered a guy. I want to be a guy, not one of the guys. You feel me? ... I'm not chasing for something. I'm trying to achieve and be greater than someone who is chasing."

Parsons is already one of the few Donald-like impact players who do more than take down the quarterback. The star LB hunts the pigskin like a hog on a truffle trail. Yes, he gets sacks, but occupying the offense's attention and forcing negative plays is a massive part of his game already.

The 24-year-old generated 13.5 sacks in 2022 after snagging 13 as a rookie. Last offseason, Parsons pegged his sack goal at "15 minimum," but nagging injuries slowed the linebacker down the stretch. To help thwart the injury concerns, he's putting on weight this offseason, expecting to be around 250-252 pounds this year after playing at 245 pounds last season.

Parsons' "impact wave" plan involves playing multiple positions, including edge rusher and linebacker, to make things more difficult on the defense.

"Just playing chess, just being able to move around," Parsons said. "I think that's the special ability that I have that I want to incorporate. We're doing a lot of special things. I don't want to give a lot away right now. But uh, it's gonna be a really cool year. I'm probably gonna play like eight positions this year. So don't even ask me.

"Anything that's in that front seven and some coverage. Yeah, I'm telling you I'm gonna do it all. It's gonna be a year to remember for sure."

Parsons' versatility makes him one of the most unique players in the NFL. But make no mistake, the Cowboys will want him going after the quarterback more often than not. Whether he gobbles up sacks or not, Parsons will continue to be one of the most impactful defensive players in the NFL and a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

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