FRISCO, Texas – So what happens when the self-proclaim "Lion" faces an actual team of Lions this Sunday on the field?
Micah Parsons was asked that on Thursday, prompting a chuckle from the ultra-competitive linebacker who still hasn't fully recovered from last week's loss to the Eagles.
But as he shifts his focus to the Detroit Lions, Parsons played along with the question.
"There can only be one Lion, man," said Parsons, who played for the Penn State Nittany Lions. "There's only real lions. We're not talking about mountain lions. I just think ... someone is always coming. When you're the lion, you're the alpha. There's always younger lions that are coming. That's how I look at it. There's only one lion!"
Parsons was rather tongue-and-cheek with the banter, which came a few minutes after giving the Detroit football team plenty of respect, especially its running game.
"They've got a great front all the way around, a dominant run game, a great group of backs," Parsons said. "We've got to go out there and just try to stop the run and be resilient out there."
Stopping the run was a problem for the Cowboys last Sunday against the Eagles, especially at the end of the game when the defense needed a stop to get the ball back for the offense.
"Any time a team goes down and scores, and the way they did it, of course that stings," Parsons said. "But you learn from those. Maybe it's something that I could've done better, maybe it's something someone else could've done better or we all could have done better. You've got to learn from them, got to adjust. That's the beauty of it: You get this week to prove it and show what we learned."
Against the Eagles, Parsons found himself in coverage a little more, and was asked if he thought Philly tried to scheme against him. He said the lack of pass-rush was more about trying to stop Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.
"Honestly, if you know football, they didn't really try to come after me," he said. "I mean, if you look at their offense, you can say they scheme everyone. They run an RPO offense, everything is read-option. You got to worry about Hurts. He's a problem. When you got a problem in this league, you got to focus on him. In the most simple way, in my eyes, I did my job. You can't control trying to do everything on the field. That leads to frustration and miscommunication. Just got to do your job out there. It was a big game last week. Sometimes you're trying to make the big play and things like that and things can get jammed up. We just got to clean it up and be back to the details."
That being said, does Parsons now want to be just a full-time rusher or still playing in coverage?
On if he wants to continue rushing or does he want to do more dropping back:
"Yeah, I'm still looking for my interception. I need my interception. For sure. I'm still doing both," Parsons said. "The more I can do, because it's all about creating matchups and it's all about creating, as a defense mindset, we're trying to create mismatches. We're trying to create openings. The more you can do, the more we can open up the playbook and the more fun and creative it gets. Talking to (Dan Quinn), we have a bunch that we draw up every week."
Either way, Parsons said he's keeping a "Shark Week" mentality.
"We just emphasize shark week," he said. "That's what we emphasize this week. No matter what's out there, you're going to beat them up. That's what we are emphasizing this week. We just got to go do it. The next thing you know it's just execution. It's (always) shark week."
Sharks, and lions, of course.