FRISCO, Texas - It only takes one bad experience for someone to promise themselves they'll never feel that way again or endure that experience again. However, what tends to separate your everyday person from professional athletes is the sheer will to stick to that promise.
After listening to Micah Parsons on Thursday, there is no disputing what side of that fence he is entrenched on when it comes to the Cowboys' recent struggles in the run defense.
"I'm looking at this Vikings' week," Parsons said. "The Packers' [game] we learned and we grew. It won't happen again though. If Dak [Prescott] goes out there and gives me that lead again, I promise we ain't going to do that again.
"I promise to God I give everything I got every week. If I didn't, I wouldn't be on the field as much as I am."
After the Packers' game on Sunday, Parsons stressed the importance of communication and accountability for the Cowboys' defense and their allowing of over 200 rushing yards and a blown 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Just a few days later the Cowboys' All-Pro linebacker echoed those same sentiments if they want to correct their run-stopping woes before taking on the offensive prowess of the Vikings this Sunday.
"We have to trust each other," he said. "Trust is going to be the key to everything and where we want to go. "We have to trust that someone's going to be in the B-gap when they're supposed to be in the B-gap. We have to trust that someone is going to come in the A-gap when they're supposed to be in the A-gap and hold the edge.
"And without that trust we won't go far. So we're enhancing that trust."
But that doesn't mean that Parsons is exempt from holding himself accountable either. As someone who has quickly become a leader for the Cowboys' defensive unit, Parsons did not shy away from his own potential role either.
"I even took a lot of accountability," he said. "Maybe I even messed up… I'm trying to make a play, and I'm going to hold myself accountable to the extent. So I'll take the blame, I'll do whatever. But somebody like me, you can't expect me to do it again."
Parsons was clear when asked if there's a possibility that the Cowboys can't slow down the rushing attack that teams have and will continue to present them. Along with DeMarcus Lawrence, he and Parsons both said it comes down to execution.. And that 'trust' thing again.
"I believe we could have eight players on the field," he said. "But if you do what you're supposed to do you can stop anything. You could have 10 players, but if nobody is doing what they're supposed to be doing and we're not executing, how can you expect to stop it?"
There are very few people who would sign up to oppose a fired up and fiercely motivated Micah Parsons. And despite clicking on all cylinders, the Vikings still might not even want to take their chance with him. After all, they saw how he can single-handedly wreck a game last season.
Parsons earned NFC Player of the Week honors coming off the Cowboys 20-16 win over the Vikings in Minnesota during Week 8, racking up 10 of his 11 total tackles on his own and four of those came for a loss.
With so much offensive weaponry on the horizon, namely Parsons' friend in Vikings' receiver Justin Jefferson who many Cowboys touted as the best receiver in the league this week, Parsons was quick to point out running back Dalvin Cook and the threat he poses as well.
Whatever the Vikings throw at him, Parsons is ready regardless.
"I'm going to just buckle my helmet up," he said. "And I'm going to set edges and ball out. If they want to drop back, well then they can send me that too."
And despite being buddies with Jefferson after training together over offseason and showering him with verbal bouquets, there will be no prisoners taken if Parsons has anything to say about.
"You can say he's the best receiver in the league," Parsons said. "You can say he's in the top three in the league right now. And he's a friend of mine now. I love his game. I love his personality… He can continue to have continued success - but not this week."
Yeah, Parsons is ready to rumble.