FRISCO, Texas – If Micah Parsons' competitiveness was in question before Tuesday night, it certainly wasn't afterwards.
The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year put on a hitting clinic during the Cowboys Reliant Home Run Derby at Riders Field in Frisco by hitting the most homers and helping raise $81,000 for charity. Fellow linebacker Leighton Vander Esch raised the most money individually, but the night belonged to Parsons.
Sporting his No. 11 Reliant jersey, Parsons was electric during his first trip to the plate, launching a handful of balls onto the left field berms – some 400 feet from the plate - and well over the artificial fences that were set up as he circled the bases during his round.
But the Cowboys' young star could not help but find a competitive advantage over his teammates prior to the event, even if it meant calling in some reinforcements in the form of a $500 bat.
"Batting practice and being on the field is completely different," Parsons said. "So, I had to come out and get some warmup swings. I went to BP and said, 'Man I can't use these bats,' so I went to Dick's [Sporting Goods] to get a bat. I told them to give me the most powerful bat they had."
Though that type of spirit and determination was nothing new to Parsons' teammates, the raw power and ability to steal the show caught the attention of everyone, including Dak Prescott.
"I was definitely surprised that he has that much power and was that consistent with it," Prescott said. "He just went and sent somebody to buy the bat as we were in the dugout coming from batting practice. Then somebody came with a pair of gloves and a brand-new bat that these kids are drooling over. So that was his cheat code."
The second-year linebacker of course dazzled in his first season with Dallas with 13 sacks and 84 tackles to cement himself has a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive side of the field. Parsons says he played baseball until high school before he opted for track and football, only adding to his immense athletic talent.
"Whatever he did along his journey, it sure worked out," Prescott said. "And I'm glad he did it. Mike is a competitor. And if you just flip that switch, you're going to get the best out of him. And obviously, we just saw right here."
But the praise for Parsons' display did not end there. Defensive back Jourdan Lewis took to Twitter to tout his teammate's performance by dubbing him "the best athlete in the world."
The biggest question surrounding Parsons dating back to last season was whether the Cowboys viewed him as a linebacker or defensive end. Much like at the plate on Tuesday, Parsons says his connections with his teammates fuels his interests in lining up at either spot.
"The most fun about it is that I am connected so well with the team and understanding every player on the team and understanding what they like to do," Parsons said. "Really understanding what the whole team is like, it's just really coming together."
Parsons has quickly made a name for himself and been busy during the offseason, including dropping the puck at a Dallas Stars game and throwing out the first pitch at a Rangers' game earlier this year.
"I'm just having fun," Parsons said. "It's truly great to be a Cowboy, I'm really living the dream every day and every week. Exploring my opportunities and taking advantage of them, and the people I have met. The things I have gotten to do, and this is my first time doing this. So, I'm really excited about it."