FRISCO, Texas — Through two games, Micah Parsons has been hard to miss on the field with his three sacks and one forced fumble against the duo of New York opponents to start the season.
In his first two seasons, his captivating appeal started with his athletic on-field play that kept fans watching every step he took from the moment the ball was snapped and it carried through him making a sack in the backfield. However, this season, an extra element has been added to his highlight plays: a lion crawl celebration.
An idea that was first enacted by Parsons as a joke in training camp towards Dak Prescott whenever he would get in the backfield has now turned into one of the signature celebrations in the NFL in just two short weeks.
"I was practicing it in camp when I was just joking around with Dak, growling at him and crawling at him," Parsons said. "And then someone said you should really do that. I was like, why don't I just try it out? And now people love the crawl."
His lion persona has only grown with each time he steps on the field, but it's something that has truly evolved behind closed doors. In team meetings and when talking to teammates, Parsons said that he's been trying to emphasize the importance around the lion and what it stands for.
"When I always get my chance to talk in front of the room, I talk about the lion hunting and the preciseness and how methodical it has to be," he said. "And how lions have to work as a team to get what they need and so they can feed their family. I said if you look at this, this is what we are doing. We are out here trying to hunt this guy and trying to kill these people so we can feed our families."
"That's our why. No matter if it's nature or in life, everyone has their why. Every week we get a chance to go out there and fight for ours."
The effect of his lion character has inspired other players to find their own animal to identify with. With Leighton Vander Esch already boasting the "wolf" moniker and other players quickly picking up animal personalities, Dan Quinn's defense will soon turn into a zoo of aggressive species.
"I said we got to be a pack of lions and [Dante Fowler] is a jaguar," Parsons said. "And Mazi [Smith] said he's an orca now because I bring up the orca. Everyone is finding their own identity and who they want to be so it's pretty cool."
While everyone figures out their own animal name, Parsons will be brainstorming off to the side about the celebration that has re-ignited the lion conversation as a whole.
"I'm trying to find a name for it," he said. "So if y'all got anything, just help me out and we're gonna name it something. I might give you one-percent."