Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons says Tom Brady 'inspires me' ahead of rematch with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FRISCO, Texas -- Micah Parsons was 11 months old when the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady in 2000, so he has a great appreciation for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback.

On Sunday, he will face Brady for the second time in as many years when the Dallas Cowboys host Tampa Bay at AT&T Stadium.

"You just see his competitive nature. He has that fire inside of him. I mean he looks to kill you," Parsons said. "He wants to step on your throat like you're a roach. And that's what you look for in competitors. I think that's why if you're a real competitor, you look up to Tom Brady. You look up to Kobe [Bryant], that Mamba mentality. You look up to Michael Jordan, I wouldn't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do. You love those type of mentalities.

"We aspire to be that fierce or be that strong. You got to be a real strong-minded person to be who you are and for Tom to do that in New England and do it with the Bucs, I mean, he inspires me even though I'm on defense."

Parsons does not have a favorable memory of the 2021 opener, a 31-29 loss to the Buccaneers. Parsons called it his worst game, although he went on to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and was named a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler while setting the Cowboys' record for most sacks by a rookie in a season (13).

"I don't even want to watch it. I don't want to reminisce on it," he said. "I just know it in my head what I know the standard was and how I felt about it."

This year he hopes to give Brady his first loss against the Cowboys.

Brady is 6-0 all time vs. Dallas, the most wins without a loss against the Cowboys by a starting quarterback. If the Buccaneers win Sunday, Brady would join Randall Cunningham (eight straight from 1987-92) and Frank Ryan (seven from 1963-66) as the only starting QBs to defeat the Cowboys in seven straight starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"We got to get him out this league. He's been dominating this league too long and he keeps coming back," Parsons joked. "It's a blessing to still be able to play him and just goes to his work ethic and the time he puts in the game that his body can withstand this long."

Does Parsons, 23, thinks he will play until he's 45?

"No, I do not. I want to have my toes in the beach somewhere when I'm 45, going back to watch my son's football games. That's what I aspire at 45," Parsons said. "So we definitely got different passions than that aspect. And I probably get hit a little more than he does too, so I don't think I could last until I was 45."