When it comes to legendary defensive units and the Dallas Cowboys being in the same sentence, long-time Cowboys fans likely reminisce about the days of the Doomsday Defense squads.
From the original unit that won two championships from 1966-1975 and had stars such as linebackers Lee Roy Jordan and Chuck Howley (aka the first defensive player to win Super Bowl MVP), Hall of Fame DT Bob “Mr. Cowboy” Lilly, and HOF cornerbacks Mel Renfro and Herb Adderley. To the second Doomsday unit that won one championship from 1976-1982 with players such as Super Bowl XII co-MVPs Harvey Martin and Randy White; Ed “Too Tall” Jones; and CBs Cliff Harris, Charlie Waters, and Everson Walls.
And lastly, the third unit that won three titles during the 1992-1996 seasons, which included players such as S Darren Woodson and pass-rusher Charles Haley — these defenses were legendary.
As two decades went by, it felt like there would never be a squad that could reach those levels again. Fans only saw above-average teams with a defensive stud from time to time, but never could use “elite defense” and “Dallas Cowboys” in the same discussion again.
But when the Cowboys' defense started looking electric last season with their high level of play, fans had hope. And now, after seeing this year's defense take it up a notch, I wanted to ask the question: Are we witnessing the birth of Doomsday Defense 4.0?
Numbers don't lie.
According to ESPN, the Cowboys have yet to allow an opponent to reach 20 points and have only given up five touchdowns through five games. The last time that stat popped up was in 1972, during the middle of the original Doomsday defense years.
Pretty good, I would have to say.
Another stat that allows this defense to get its recognition is the fact they have compiled 20 sacks through five games, and if you put that number up against any Doomsday unit you realize the last time the franchise had at least 20 sacks was in 1987.
A year “Doomsday” didn't exist.
While LB Micah Parsons did say to Yahoo Sports on October 4 that “Doomsday is back” following their victory over the Washington Commanders, and some fans disagreed with his take, he has a great case that he's right.
As we all know, those groups brought titles to the franchise, so I understand some people may say it's premature to label this year's unit as “Doomsday” since they haven't proven anything yet. However, for the first time in a while, there is a feeling that this defense can actually lead the team back to the “promised land,” and that's something that I personally never imagined.
Could you say a star like Parsons is our modern version of Howley, Trevon Diggs is Walls, and DeMarcus Lawrence is our “Too Tall” Jones? Possibly.
But with the way the team has played so far, as they have averaged four sacks per game and 1.4 takeaways — if they were to stay on track that would give them 72 sacks and 25 takeaways for the season, with their sack total being a franchise record/league-tying feat and their takeaways ranking high all-time for the team's history.
So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm buying 1000% that we are witnessing a new era of Doomsday.
I never thought I would see the Cowboys' have an elite defense in my lifetime, as most fans (including myself) can remember this defense being flat-out horrible under former DC Mike Nolan two seasons ago.
If it wasn't for Dan Quinn's hiring, the odds are high that we aren't talking about this comparison. But for now, like Parsons said: Doomsday is back.