Parsons: We'll see where Cowboys stand in early games vs. Bucs, Bengals
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons believes his team's first two games of the 2022 season - against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals - will indicate just how prepared Dallas is for the campaign.
"Seeing Tampa Bay and Cincinnati back to back, that was kinda like the first thing that I saw," Parsons said, according to Grant Gordon of NFL.com. "Bengals (were) 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 Ws for the Cowboys."
The NFL announced its 2022 schedule Thursday. The league gave Dallas five prime-time games, including the team's season opener against the Bucs.
The Cowboys also faced Tampa Bay in Week 1 last year. Tom Brady led the then-defending champion Buccaneers to a 31-29 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
"Obviously, my first year (playing against) Tom Brady, I was, obviously, big eyes in seeing Tom," Parsons added. "I'm kinda excited for the rematch. It was a real big nail-biter."
Parsons made his NFL regular-season debut versus Tampa Bay in 2021, finishing the contest with seven tackles and one quarterback hit. The 22-year-old went on to put up a fantastic rookie campaign, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and a first-team All-Pro berth.
"I have to act like I got amnesia," Parsons said, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. "Forget last year and kind of restart everything, but still put in the work and try to do better than I did last year. I just have to erase everything I did, don't let anything get to my head, and just go to work."
The Cowboys won the NFC East with a 12-5 record last season, but they fell short against the San Francisco 49ers at home in the wild card.
Dallas is tied with the Washington Commanders for the easiest schedule this year based on its opponents' combined 2021 win percentage.