FRISCO, Texas – Those WWE-style belts look good on Micah Parsons.
The All-Pro Cowboys linebacker started his own belt collection last season to commemorate winning two NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month awards as well as NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
And Thursday, as the Cowboys formally welcomed WWE back to North Texas exactly 30 days before Wrestlemania at AT&T Stadium (April 2-3), Parsons draped a replica WWE Championship belt over his shoulder with the Cowboys star featured prominently on each side plate, excited to attend his first-ever WWE event.
"It's going to be an unbelievable experience for me and my son," said Parsons, a lifelong fan.
Parsons and Pro Football Hall of Famer Drew Pearson were on hand for the unveiling of a special Wrestlemania-themed outdoor mural as WWE celebrates WrestleManiareturning to AT&T Stadium in just 30 days. The mural, created by local artist Augustin Chavez, features the WrestleManialogo and images of WWE Superstars.
Attending the two-night extravaganza will be a fun experience for Parsons after a big rookie season. But make no mistake, he's got his eye on helping the Cowboys get back to the NFL's own version of Wrestlemania.
"My main goal is to focus on the main thing, getting to the Super Bowl and giving these Cowboys fans what they've been waiting for all these years," he said.
Following the Cowboys' first-round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Parsons said he took a couple weeks off to play in his first career Pro Bowl and attend Super Bowl week. Then he was "right back in action" working out and preparing for his second season. The Cowboys will reconvene for the start of the voluntary offseason program next month.
Last year, despite no college season as a COVID-19 opt-out and restricted offseason work due to NFL COVID protocols, Parsons delivered one of the most dominant rookie seasons in NFL history. He set a franchise rookie record with 13.0 sacks and tied for the NFL lead with 20 tackles for loss, the most by a Cowboys linebacker since Sean Lee in 2017.
The most impressive part? He seamlessly switched between off-the-ball linebacker and on-the-line defensive end, sometimes week to week, sometimes snap to snap, depending on what defensive coordinator Dan Quinn needed.
Parsons doesn't seem to care where he lines up moving forward, either.
"I'm going to go wherever my team needs me to be," he said. "If Q needs me rushing, I'm going to be a rusher. If he needs me to play linebacker, I'm going to play linebacker. I feel like it shouldn't matter. If you're going to be great, if you're going to dominate, you're going to do it no matter what."
At his introductory Cowboys press conference last April, Parsons described his game as "See ball, get ball, 'Waterboy type,'" referencing Adam Sandler's pass-rushing character in the 1998 comedy film. Thursday, he said "Waterboy" would probably be his ring name and persona if he ever stepped in the ring for some WWE action.
See ball, get ball. Parsons did exactly that in Year 1 with the Cowboys. And he's looking to build on it in Year 2.