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Micah Parsons' Goal: 'Best Player In The League'

Micah-Parsons’-Goal--‘Best-Player-In-The-League’-hero

FRISCO, Texas – Safe to say Micah Parsons isn't satisfied with a spectacular rookie season.

"This year I know exactly who I need to be," he said following Thursday's practice, exactly 10 days before the Cowboys open the regular season against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The goal, the do-everything All-Pro linebacker said, is to be "the best player in the league."

"I don't want to be anything short of No. 1," he said. "That's the type of confidence I have. I want to be the best."

Last season Parsons won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and finished second in Defensive Player of Year voting (behind the Steelers' T.J Watt) after leading the Cowboys with 13.0 sacks and 42 pressures and ranking fifth on defense with 52 tackles.

That alone says he's not too far off from being No. 1. But his personal aspirations are part of broader team goals.

"Being the best player doesn't mean I'm going to have a sack a game. That doesn't mean I'm going to have 10 tackles a game," he said. "It's just making my team better. That's what comes with being the best player. And that's the thing – it's not all individual stat accolades. And that's what I had to learn. That's why I say mindset. Being the best player in the league doesn't mean you're going to have 20 sacks.

"I have to make everyone around me better and I have to be one of those guys we can lean on when it comes to big moments. That's what that means."

The 11th pick in last year's draft, Parsons emerged as a versatile force in a variety of roles in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's scheme: playing off the ball, covering running backs and tight ends, blitzing and even lining up as an edge rusher.

He'll likely have even more responsibility this year, on the field and in the locker room, as the Cowboys defense looks to take a collective step forward.

Sunday night, Sept. 11 will present a great first challenge against Brady, who's held the title of 'best quarterback ever' for quite a few years.

Parsons' introduction to the NFL last year was playing Brady in Week 1, which turned out to be a 31-29 Bucs victory.

"I would say that was probably my worst game last year," he said.

His confidence and production grew and grew after that game, and now the 23-year-old Parsons feels completely comfortable in his role.

"It's up to me," he said. "I think DQ set me up and put me in a position to be great, but I've got to do it."

How?

"I have to dominate every game," he said.

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