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Micah on 2023 mission: 'Everybody gets the smoke'


FRISCO, Texas — Carpe Omnia. It's the freshly-ordained creed for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023, and Micah Parsons is all-in on doing exactly that: seizing everything. The First-Team All-Pro pass rusher is laser-focused on winning a Super Bowl this coming season but, first and foremost, also in doing his best to dominate the New York Giants in Week 1.

So when he and the Cowboys take the field at MetLife Stadium in primetime on Sunday night, all Parsons sees is one of many hurdles trying to prevent him from being at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11. 

He is obsessed with the endgame, but also with the things it takes to get there.

"I've been sleeping on it," Parsons said. "I've been thinking about it. Every night it's, 'Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl.' But, you know, I don't get too caught up on it — at the same time — because I know I have to take care of each week as its own. Each day has worries of its own. You have to focus on getting better inch by inch and, eventually, you'll build enough inches to where you are in the Super Bowl. 

"But your preparation, your work and your mindset are what led you there. Everything that you do everyday leads to the Super Bowl, not just saying, 'I wanna go to the Super Bowl.' It just doesn't work like that."

No, it does not, and the best thing the Cowboys can do to finally lift the decades-long drought is to get off to a fast start against the Giants, and that includes setting the defensive tone early.

"It's extremely important," Parsons said. "The Giants aren't a walkover team. They put together a great offseason just like we did. They've got great guys they've already had, and the rivalry makes it harder and something you've gotta prepare for because they're going to give us their best shot. 

"Each game last year came down to the wire. This is like a Super Bowl." 

The Cowboys swept the Giants last season, but by an average of only 7.5 points. This time around, the latter is bringing added offensive weaponry in rookie speedster Jalin Hyatt and a dynamic receiving tight end in Darren Waller.

The offseason countermove by Dallas includes trading for Stephon Gilmore, former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, to tandem with Trevon Diggs, DaRon Bland and Jourdan Lewis — along with the resident three-headed hydra at safety and a pass rush that is one of the best in the league; and one of the deepest. 

"Fundamentally, communication, I feel this is the best defense I've ever been on," said Parsons. "I've been grateful to be on some good defenses since Penn State, and to come in here — just adding [Stephon Gilmore] is an extra boost in confidence on the back end. Having a side guy next to [Trevon Diggs], I'm predicting a lot of good things from our guys this year. People can't always go away from Diggs. 

"Now, they've gotta face the music with both of them. To see them locked in and focused every day, and Diggs challenging me every week; it's gonna be a really exciting year. … I'm ready to get hands-on and let loose."

That doesn't mean, however, that Parsons will change his approach to the regular season opener, because whether it's the Giants or any other team in the Cowboys' way, the mission remains the same — weekly.

"Nah man, everyone gets the same smoke," he said. "It doesn't matter if we're in Wisconsin or in Boston — I'm treating everybody the same."

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