FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have done the expected, picking up the 2025 fifth-year option on edge rusher Micah Parsons, according to the team. But the hard part remains: signing him to a contract extension.

With the option, Parsons is set to make $21.324 million in 2025 as a defensive end. The salary, which is fully guaranteed, is determined by the position the player took the most snaps during the 2023 season, according to the collective bargaining agreement. The linebacker option would have cost more than $24 million.

The Cowboys’ stated desire is to sign Parsons, who has finished second twice and third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in his first three seasons, to a long-term contract extension. With the option exercised, the Cowboys have at least guaranteed him through 2025 and then would be in position to use the franchise tag in 2026 without a long-term deal.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is currently the highest paid defensive player in the NFL at $34 million annually.

Parsons had 14 sacks in 2023 to lead the Cowboys. He joined Reggie White as the only players with at least 12 sacks in each of their first three seasons since 1982. His 40.5 career sacks are fourth most in the first three seasons behind White (52), Derrick Thomas (43.5) and Aldon Smith (42).

Parsons, a first-round pick in 2021, was named an All-Pro in each of his first two seasons and has been selected to the Pro Bowl all three years.


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