As offseason hope blooms among all 32 NFL teams, Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons spoke recently about why the 2023 campaign could finally be Dallas’s year, thanks to an elite defense he says has potential similar to one of the NFL’s greatest defensive units.

Speaking to reporters during OTAs, the Cowboys star pointed out that Dallas returns 10 defensive starters and also added veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore and first-round draft pick Mazi Smith

In Parsons’s eyes, keeping a group together that ranked among the NFL’s best is enough to get the job done, inspiring him to draw an interesting parallel to the vaunted 2000 Super Bowl-champion Ravens’ defense, led by Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.

“You just feel it in the room,” Parsons said Thursday, via Cowboys Wire. “Everybody’s like, ‘This has got to be the year.’ Each year I’ve been here, we’ve gone a little bit further, a little bit further. Now I’m hoping we don’t have to [settle for] some small jump to the NFC [championship game] and go home; I’m hoping we go all the way.

“We all know how each other plays, we know how to communicate with each other. Just like in a relationship: you start from ground zero, you’ve got to learn how to build the basis of how each other works. That history is going to be great. That was the difference for that Ray Lewis team: they all came back and were like, ‘If they can’t score, they can’t win.’ I’m hoping we’ve got one of those special teams this year.”

As Parsons mentioned, the ’00 Ravens entered their title season with nine defensive starters who had been in Baltimore for two-plus seasons. That team went on to post a 12–4 record in the regular season and went on to demolish the Giants, 34–7, in Super Bowl XXXV; the Ravens’s defense

While Parsons hopes Dallas’s continuity produces a similar result, only time will tell if the ’23 season is the year the club breaks its 27-year Super Bowl drought. 

Since Parsons’s arrival in 2021, Dallas has earned back-to-back playoff berths after 12–5 seasons, with the first ending in the wild-card round and the second ending in the divisional round after a wild-card win. The Cowboys finished the last two seasons ranked seventh and fifth in scoring defense, respectively.