Micah Parsons' start to his NFL career has been nothing short of legendary.
His first season saw him garner Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and a year later, he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting for a second straight campaign. If the Cowboys star keeps this up, there's little doubt he'll soon become the highest-paid defender in football.
Nick Bosa's contract extension reset the market for the NFL's elite defenders on Wednesday, pushing the financial mountaintop to a new peak of $34 million per year. Likely aware his time to cash in is coming, Parsons was quick to congratulate Bosa.
"Super happy for Nick Bosa, man," Parsons said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He really showed why he was the best player in the league last year. It gives you something to chase, man. And not in terms of his contract, but in terms of how great he was. If you study his mindset and how patient he was and let the game come to him."
Parsons can take the public relations-friendly stance on the matter by pointing to Bosa's performance -- not his pay -- as what he's chasing in 2023 and beyond. But as every player in this league knows, on-field accomplishments are ultimately what feed bank accounts.
Only two things can derail a player of Parsons' caliber from following Bosa on the money train: injuries and losing sight of what's most important. Parsons has lucked out on the former so far, appearing in all but one possible game in his first two seasons. He'll have to remain focused in order to avoid the latter.
"I don't even think about that," Parsons said of a future extension. "Like I told you, I really just enjoy the game. I love what I do. And just, everyone else can talk about it.
"My dad always said that, everyone can talk about how good you are. Everyone can talk about what your future looks like and things like that, but at the end, you've always just got to act like you've been there before and act like it's normal because if you're good everyone else will talk about you."
Parsons isn't chasing dollar signs, at least not admittedly. He has something else in his crosshairs: a Lombardi Trophy. He knows everyone will be speaking highly of him if he accomplishes that goal in 2023.
"I've been sleeping on it. I've been dreaming about it," Parsons said, per the Star-Telegram. "Late at night man I just think Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl. I know I've got to take care of each week as its own. Every day has its worries of its own and every day you have to focus on just getting better that inch and inch. And eventually you build enough inches to where you are in the Super Bowl and you know you'll be there.
"But your preparation, your work, your mindset -- everything you do each day leads to the Super Bowl. Not just say, 'Hey, I want to go to the Super Bowl.' It just don't work like that."
Dallas has notoriously fallen short of this goal for nearly 30 years. If Parsons is the one to help them finally get over the hump and back atop football's pinnacle, the Cowboys will have no choice but to open their deepest coffers for him.