Cowboys won’t make a position designation when picking up the Micah Parsons fifth-year option

When picking up the fifth-year option of defensive standout Micah Parsons, the Cowboys won’t designate him as a linebacker. They also won’t designate him as a defensive end.

They won’t make a designation at all. Per multiple sources with knowledge of the team’s approach to the situation, it plans to make the designation (barring a long-term deal before doing so) without specifying a position. The team believes that the league and/or the union will determine the position that Parsons plays.

It’s unclear why and how the story became a story on Tuesday. The Dallas Morning News reported that the Cowboys will exercise the option by designating Parsons as a defensive end, not as a linebacker.

The difference is significant. His fifth-year option salary as a defensive end, which carries a salary in 2025 of $21.32 million. As a linebacker, Parsons would be in line for a fifth-year salary of $24 million.

The matter could result in a grievance, if it’s preliminarily determined that Parsons is a defensive end. However, the Cowboys do not believe that it’s for them to make the decision, as it relates to the fifth-year option.

It will be a different matter if/when the Cowboys apply the franchise tag to Parsons. Over the years, multiple teams have applied the tag at a position with which the player disagreed.

None of it matters if the Cowboys sign Parsons to a new deal before the deadline for exercising the fifth-year option. He has earned a second contract. Whether the Cowboys give it to him remains to be seen.

The only thing we know is that, whatever happens, owner/G.M. Jerry Jones will say that approach exemplifies his vow to go “all-in” for 2024.

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