On Thanksgiving, Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons drew a roughing the passer foul after Raiders quarterback Derek Carr exited the pocket and fell toward Parsons. The rookie’s wrist/forearm struck Carr in the helmet. Carr did his best to embellish the situation by first holding his helmet and then holding his neck.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL did not fine Parsons for the hit.
It’s the right call. Although the prohibition against delivering a forcible blow to the head or neck of a quarterback lingers even after the quarterback exits the pocket and until he officially becomes a runner, it’s difficult to split hairs when the quarterback approaches the line of scrimmage — and when the quarterback falls into the would-be tackler.
Parsons complained about the call after the game.
“We should be playing football, not tag,” Parsons said. “I’m not here to support anybody and play tag like it’s my best friend. I got a job to do, and I see how he’s outside of the pocket, so I’m going to the quarterback. . . . I mean, we’re playing football at the end of the day.”
For now at least, the NFL agreed that what Parsons did was sufficiently in line with the rules of football to not result in a fine.