Micah Parsons isn't going into his first Pro Bowl lightly.
To cap off a fantastic rookie season, the Cowboys linebacker put opposing AFC quarterbacks on notice ahead of Sunday's game in Las Vegas, where he intends to make new Pro Bowl memories by reliving old ones.
"I already told them I'm going hard as heck," Parsons told NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe on Saturday. "I'm going to be like Sean Taylor out in that joint. They're going to tell me to slow down. They're going to be so mad."
Parsons' old-school approach must be tempered within the typical rules and restrictions of a modern NFL all-star showcase, as evidenced by an unforgettable Pro Bowl event in 2007 when Sean Taylor lowered the boom on punter Brian Moorman during a fake punt. However, Parsons will have the chance to show off his abilities against opposition all-star linemen, and simply getting his hands on a quarterback will be spectacular enough without a shattering hit.
When asked whether there is a certain AFC quarterback he wants to work with, Parsons said, "Every one of them."
The AFC's probable starter is Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson waiting in the wings.
Parsons is the only rookie defender in either conference of the 2022 Pro Bowl, and he is a heavy favourite to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year title this year. The Cowboys selected the Penn State product 12th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he led all rookies with 13.0 sacks, 84 tackles, three forced fumbles, and 20 tackles for loss in 16 starts.
Parsons' outstanding season is all the more amazing given that he switched positions to edge rusher early in the season to meet a team necessity. The versatile 22-year-old came close to breaking Jevon Kearse's rookie sack record and became the first rookie defensive player in Cowboys history to make the AP's first-team All-Pro list.
Parsons, who was named the quickest man in the 2022 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown earlier this week, is hoping to keep the momentum going on Sunday and put on a show. Despite all of the praise for his outstanding rookie season, Parsons would rather miss his Pro Bowl appearance in order to showcase himself in the Super Bowl after a first-round playoff exit.
"We could take the success, we could take the bad and we can grow, and not look back in the past thinking about what we did before," Parsons said. "Only think in the future. Think about what we can do, what we can develop, and hopefully win a ring because that's what its really all about. I mean, Pro Bowls is cool but I'd rather be playing in L.A. next week."