When the 2021 season came to a close, Micah Parsons was a unanimous selection as the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Parsons’ ultra-impressive campaign began with him staring across from the most successful quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady, and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Parsons’ and the Cowboys’ 2022 season will once again begin with a prime-time showdown against the Buccaneers and follow up with another arduous matchup against the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. The Dallas linebacker believes those first two games will be an indicator of just how good the Cowboys will be — especially after they win.
“Seeing, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati back to back, that was kinda like the first thing that I saw,” Parsons said Thursday night on ’22 Schedule Release. “Bengals in it last year, Super Bowl contender, obviously. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are always Super Bowl contenders. It’s a testament to see where our team’s at and where we stand at. And I think that’s a great start to [play against] those two Super Bowl teams, Super Bowl-type teams will be big ‘W’s for the Cowboys.”
The Cowboys lost to the Buccaneers, 31-29, in last year’s NFL Kickoff Game and will face Tampa Bay in Week 1 again, this time on Sunday Night Football and on their homefield. Seven days later, Parsons and Co. will host Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dallas, the reigning NFC East champion, will square off with the reigning NFC South and AFC North champions in the first game, and true to Parsons’ point, will find out in a hurry it’s made of.
Last season, though Parsons wreaked havoc throughout, he admitted he was a bit taken aback facing Brady.
“Obviously my first year, [playing against] Tom Brady, I was obviously big eyes in seeing Tom,” he said. “I’m kinda excited for the rematch. It was a real big nail biter.”
While Parsons will see Brady for a second time, he’ll get his first glimpse of Burrow, who shared the NFL Honors stage with him as the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
“Obviously, AFC champs, they’re gonna come and bring it. They got a lot of young talent,” Parsons said. “I’m excited to go up against Joe Burrow. He’s a guy I’ve been watching for a long time and I just kinda want to experience it for myself.”
The Cowboys will get all the big-game experience they can handle in the first two weeks. If they emerge 2-0 as Parsons predicts, it’ll be a stellar start and an emphatic statement to the rest of the league.