Micah Parsons, Run Defense Crucial Against Titans

Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons and the run defense are crucial in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans. The Dallas Cowboys defense has been brutal over the past month surrendering 23 points to the Houston Texans, 40 points to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a loss, and 34 points to the Philadelphia Eagles. If Dallas wants to avoid another first-round exit, the defense will have to get back on track starting with Micah Parsons and the defensive line.

Micah Parsons, Run Defense, Must Improve Against Titans

Cowboys Recent Defensive Struggles

Dallas has been one of the best defensive teams in the NFL over the 2022 season. The Cowboys have struggled defensively as of late struggling to beat some of the weaker NFL teams. The Texans took Dallas to the brink as Prescott led a game-winning drive at the end of the fourth quarter. The Texans have been abysmal this season securing the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft with a record of 2-12-1.

Dallas followed up a dud against the Texans with another defensive struggle in a 34-40 overtime loss to the Jaguars. Dallas gave up 318 passing yards, 192 rushing yards, and allowed a 17-point comeback against Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. Jacksonville has been playing much better as of late but is not the caliber of team to beat Dallas with their vaunted defense.

The Cowboys narrowly escaped with a victory against the Eagles with Jalen Hurts sitting on the sideline. Hurts sprained his right shoulder in Week 16 against the Chicago Bears and is questionable for the next several weeks. Gardner Minshew stepped in, shredding the Cowboys with 355 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys struggled against the backup quarterback relying on a defensive stop late in the fourth quarter.

Pass Rush and Line of Scrimmage Key to Dallas Victory

Micah Parsons and the defensive line are crucial in this game, much like they have been crucial over the past month. The defensive line struggles reared their ugly head in the form of narrow wins and poor losses against inferior teams. The Cowboys have yet another chance to right the ship and get back on track.

The pass rush continues to struggle along with the rest of the defense. The defense has only one sack over the last three games combined. Parsons and the defensive line need to reestablish the pass rush and get after Malik Willis. Getting pressure on Willis and dictating the pace of play will allow the Dallas offense to take advantage of the Titans porous secondary.

Dallas Defense vs. Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry and the Titans host the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. Dallas has been reeling as of late and has to face off against Henry with his 1,429 rush yards and 13 touchdowns. Henry is notorious for feasting on opposing defenses and grounding them into the turf over the course of four quarters.

Henry is the entire offense for the Titans, especially after losing Ryan Tannehill for the season. Treylon Burks has shown some flashes but has been unable to get on track with Willis under center. Willis has proven unable to adequately distribute the football, meaning Henry will be the first and last option offensively on Thursday.

The first quarter will be telling of this matchup. The Titans will try to get Henry rolling on the ground early in this contest. If Henry is able to get hot early, the Titans could turn this into a trap game and take the Cowboys deep into the fourth quarter.

Defensive Line Needs Momentum

As the Cowboys are heading into playoffs they need to establish some momentum. If the Cowboys continue to give up huge defensive numbers and start slow offensively, they will surely suffer another first-round exit. Parsons is the leader of this defense, which generates a positive game script and big offensive numbers. If the defensive line can get back to form Dallas is a very dangerous team in the playoffs, and that positive momentum needs to start this week with a tough matchup against Henry and the Titans.