Jerry Jones and Micah Parsons in full agreement on Dallas Cowboys expectations

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Jerry Jones has made several controversial remarks in recent weeks.
Jerry Jones has made several controversial remarks in recent weeks.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agrees with linebacker Micah Parsons' rosy assessment of the upcoming NFL season, boldly claiming the rest of the NFC East could be playing catch-up in 2023.

After Parsons declared the Cowboys the "top in the NFC" and compared their defence to some of the best in league history, Jones offered a similar take. "I will say that Philadelphia, and if you will, the Giants and Washington team, they need to be on their game because we are," Jones said.

"We're going to be on our game," he added. "And we will be improved over last year. I don't want dismiss how accomplished Philadelphia is, the year they had last year and where they're starting this year. I don't want to dismiss that. And the Giants definitely have a chance to be better. And Washington could be really energized. So I don't need to handicap it relative to where we'll end up. Just us, we are better."

In typical fashion, Jones has routinely briefed the media during training camp. He sparked controversy last week when he downplayed Zack Martin's contract holdout, telling the star offensive lineman that other players needed payment.

"It's not about precedent, it's about facts," Jones said of the Martin stalemate. "We need the money to pay Parsons. We need the money to pay the players that we got to pay in the future. That's a fact."

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His comments about divisional foes will likely ignite further debate, this time from rival fans who relished seeing Dallas crumble against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs last year. It will add pressure to a group of players who fell short of Super Bowl expectations.

Then again, defensive leader Parsons doesn't mind boastful talk. Maybe that's why Jones is so eager to pay big money to the All-Pro superstar.

Jerry Jones and Micah Parsons in full agreement on Dallas Cowboys expectationsMicah Parsons has recorded 26.5 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. (Getty Images)

"What do I think this defence can be? I think we can be up there with the 49ers' great defense," Parsons told reporters last week. "I think we can be up there with Ray Lewis' defense. I think we can be up there with the Legion of Boom."

"[That's] the talent we have, the vet guys and the young guys, the experience we all have. Since my rookie year, we got thrown into the fire. And we've gotten experience from tough games, playoff-level games, and I don't think there's a guy on our team that doesn't have postseason experience outside of the guys that just came in."

He added: "We've got some elite guys with elite talent, and some have been to the [Super] Bowl and that have just been on playoff runs. I think we've got a great chance."

Dallas will start their season on Sept. 11 against the Giants — one of the teams Jones mentioned by name. That game could prove a barometer of what's to come; the Giants also made the postseason last year and are a dark horse threat in the division now that they've solved their Saquon Barkley dilemma. The Cowboys will play the Eagles twice, on Nov. 5 and Dec. 11.

Dan Bernstein

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