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Dallas Cowboys’ defensive superstar gaining weight as he changes positions this offseason

After the Dallas Cowboys made Micah Parsons the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, some suggested the 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker looked a bit on the small side for pro football. That thought quickly dissipated when the former Penn State star won Defensive Rookie of the Year while being a runner-up to win Defensive Player of the Year.

He’s also twice been named to the first-team All-Pro club, a further indication that the soon-to-be 24-year-old is one of the very best players at his position. But that’s the thing. While Parsons is listed as a linebacker, he spends much of his time playing along the defensive line, where he can use his cat-like quickness to chase quarterbacks all over the yard.

In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, Parsons spent 738 snaps playing on the defensive line, compared to just 171 in the ‘box’ lined up at the linebacker position. He also spent seven snaps lined up in the slot. In other words, Parsons was lined up along the defensive line for 80% of his snaps in 2022.

Now the Cowboys are making it official, with Parsons actually spending his time working out in Austin, Texas, where he’s trying to bulk up and add weight in preparation for a full-time switch to playing defensive end instead of linebacker.

Parsons is listed at 245 pounds, but that may not necessarily be his ‘playing weight.’Parsons himself says he’s not looking to balloon in weight, stating he currently weighs 252 pounds. As far as his target weight, the Cowboys’ defensive superstar says he “won’t surpass 255 pounds at any point in his career.”

So this doesn’t appear to be a big change, either for the Cowboys or for Parsons, who’s simply trying to add a bit more muscle as he prepares to pin his ears back chasing quarterbacks for another season in Dallas.

Related: 2023 NFL defense rankings: Evaluating all 32 NFL teams after NFL Draft

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