Here's the final edition of our weekly power ranking roundup heading into week 14.
1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates
[update] Don Banks' Power Rankings: 8th (nc). "Can the Cowboys lose at home to the Chargers and still make the playoffs? I suppose it's possible, but with the three games remaining after this one -- at New Orleans, at Washington, home against Philadelphia -- I don't like their chances unless they pick up win No. 9 this week. Put up or shut up time in Dallas. Lose this one and the December swoon stuff will again take on a life of its own."
Peter King in MMQB: 8th (nc). "I don't know what to do with the Cowboys. Should they be eight? Ten? Fifteen? I wrote the other day Dallas hasn't had a winning December in 13 years, and after the loss to the Giants, it'll be incredible if it has one this fall. Next three December games: San Diego, at New Orleans, at Washington."
PK also goes on record with the following: "I really like Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, but I disagree with their feeling that Tony Romo can't take a day off to attend a benefit in Las Vegas on a long weekend after a resounding win. One day. And it was not a day, from all accounts, with any debauchery involved. Dungy and Harrison feel it's a bad example to set for the other players, that the leader of the team is jetting off to Vegas on a day off, especially when the team has such a bad record in recent Decembers. I just don't buy it. He was back in the building for treatment Saturday morning after 24 hours in Vegas." Hat tip to aussie_cowboy for the fanshot.
NationalFootballPost.com: 8th (-1). "Tony Romo wasn’t the reason that the Cowboys lost—but their special teams sure didn’t help in the Meadowlands."
SportingNews.com: 9th (-3). "Another devastating December could be looming if they lose at home to San Diego on Sunday."
Fox Sports: 10th (nc). "Until they win a game of importance in December or January this millennium, it's foolish to consider the Cowboys a true threat — especially as "them Cowboys" have the toughest remaining schedule of any true playoff contenders in the league — vs. SD (9-3), @ NO (12-0), @ WSH (3-9), vs. PHI (8-4) = 32-16 (.667)."
ESPN: 10th (-3). "The D in Dallas also stands for Defeats in December. (Clayton)". And ESPN also stands for Every Single Pun: Not-funny.
NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 11th (-4). Our favorite Douche-meister Jason La Confora has the Cowboys at 16. All other panelists are at 10-12.
2. Blogs & Other Media
ProFootballWeekly: 6th (nc). "They just aren't the same when they can't run the ball."
Weii.com: 10th (-2). "The Cowboys get criticized every year in December, and if they want to prove their doubters wrong, this would be the season to do it. They’ll face the Chargers — who get better in December — and the Saints, who haven’t lost a game all year."
Fanhouse.com: 10th (-4). "It's funny how reputations get built. The Cowboys lose to the Giants last Sunday and it goes into the "Tony Romo can't win in December column." The guy threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns -- two of them to Roy Williams, for heaven's sake -- and he can't win in December. Where's the Marion Barber can't hold onto the ball or Nick Folk can't make a kick file?"
Zac Wassink at Associated Content: 10th (-5). "It's December, Cowboys fans. Uh oh."
[update] ColdHardFootballFacts.com:11th (-3). "We’re not sure why any of Dallas’ problems are Tony Romo’s fault; over his last 10 games he’s thrown 16 TDs with just four interceptions, despite throwing an average of 35.8 passes per game."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com: 12th (-5). "The coach who can't win in December goes up against the coach who can't win in September."
3. Statictics & Computer based rankings.
WhatIFsports: 7th (+1). These guys simulate every possible match-up in the NFL 100 times, and use the winning percentages from those nearly 50,000 games to evaluate every team, with updated rosters and depth charts.
Great Blue North Draft Report: 7th (-3). This site calculates rankings by first round draft selection order based on own and opponent W/L record if the season were to end today.
FootballOutsiders: 9th (-1). Offense ranked No. 4 (nc), Defense No. 19 (-1), Special Teams No. 14 (-6).
AdvancedNFLstats: 9th (-2). Offense ranked No. 3 (-1), Defense ranked No. 22 (-1). This ranking model includes offensive and defensive passing and running efficiency, offensive turnover rates, defensive interception rates, and team penalty rates.
[update] Covers.com: 10th (-3). "Dallas continued its December woes with a loss in New York. The Cowboys lead shrunk to one game with the Chargers up next followed by a game at New Orleans."
Jeff Sagarin's NFL rankings: 11th (-2). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Here's how the NFC East and our next opponent, the Chargers, fared:
For a summary of all NFL teams using some of the same rankings, go to NFLpowerranks.com