The NFL Power Rankings for week six are not for the faint of heart, as the Cowboys drop like a hot potato this week, falling an average of five spots to an average rank of around 18. Keeping up with the Joneses has been fairly easy this year for many other NFL franchises, and the NFC East is no different: The Giants crack the top ten, the Eagles climb four spots and the Redskins make the top half of the ranking for the first time in a very long time.
With a record of 1-3 the Cowboys currently rank 26th in the league in terms of winning percentage, and are tied with the Vikings. The Vikings, our next opponent, have an average rank very close to the Cowboys at 19. Remarkably, only one power ranking in our weekly power ranking round up actually has the Cowboys ranked 26th or lower. Unfortunately, that's about it for the good news.
1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates
SportingNews.com: 14th (-7). "It's crisis time now in Big D. The rest of the division is 3-2, and other NFC favorites might start pulling away."
ESPN: 19th (-5). "Too bad there isn't a penalty for excessive underachievement. The Cowboys would be flagged. (Clayton)"
USAToday.com: 20th (-6).
NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 20th (-7).
National Football Post: 21st (-9). "Turnovers and penalties add up for the ‘Boys—who now travel to Minnesota in a must-win situation."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com: 22nd (-5). "What a waste of talent. There is no way this is a 1-3 team. They have to win at Minnesota."
Fox Sports: 22nd (-3). "Dallas is yet another team that is underachieving in a big way. At least they may have found their main ball carrier in Felix Jones during last week's loss to the Titans. But why in a close game did they pass the ball nearly 25 times more than they ran it? Again, until they can get a semblance of balance on offense, Dallas will continue to underachieve. And their defense isn't getting enough turnovers on a weekly basis."
SI.com: 23rd (-4). "At the NFL owners meeting in Chicago on Tuesday, Jerry Jones said he feels like his Cowboys are "losing time here,'' and that the time is now for Dallas to kick it up a notch or three and start winning. It all sounds so simple when you listen to Jerry explain it in that distinctive way of his, but quite candidly, to steal one of Jones's favorite expressions, it ain't that easy."
2. Blogs & Other Media
ColdHardFootballFacts.com: 19th (-3). "Despite possessing arguably the best receiver (Miles Austin) and pass rusher (DeMarcus Ware) in the game, and dominating every stat except the scoreboard, the Cowboys are 1-3."
Weii.com: 20th (-7). "The Cowboys have played with a total lack of discipline and it all starts with their head coach, Wade Phillips. Coming off a bye week, the Cowboys beat themselves. Dallas had three turnovers and 12 penalties for over 100 yards. Ten of their next 12 opponents are over .500."
ProFootballWeekly: 20th (-6). "They've outgained every opponent ... and sit at 1-3."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com: 20th (-6). "Cue the "Jerry Jones has never fired a coach during the season" crowd, who seem to think that means he never under any circumstances would fire a coach during the season. (Under that logic, Jones also will live forever.)"
SB Nation.com: 23rd (-10). "It's officially time to start worrying in Dallas. After the 1-2 start, I kept them ranked in the top half of the league because i knew they were better than that. Well, maybe I was wrong. Apparently they're not better than that."
Fanhouse.com: 27th (-9). "A win over the Texans heading into a bye week was just what the Cowboys needed to turn their season around, right? To quote Hertz: not exactly. After falling to the Titans, the 'Boys are 1-3, and the wheels are falling of the Super Bowl bandwagon – if they haven't already."
3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings
AdvancedNFLstats: 5th (-1). Offense ranked No. 2 (+7), Defense ranked No. 16 (-8). This ranking model includes offensive and defensive passing and running efficiency, offensive turnover rates, defensive interception rates, and team penalty rates.
WhatIFsports: 7th (-4). 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.
Jeff Sagarin's NFL rankings: 13th (+3). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
FootballOutsiders.com: 15th (-7). Offense ranked No. 7 (+1), Defense No. 26 (-8), Special Teams No. 20 (-8).
Covers.com: 18th (-7). "The Cowboys have outgained their four opponents by an average of 116.7 ypg but dropped to 1-3. Now it is revenge time in Minnesota against the equally disappointing Vikings."
Betus.com: 20th (19). "Dallas had 511 total yards of offense against Tennessee and still lost. It’s not all that preposterous. I mean, Wade Phillips is still the head coach, right? Nothing is funnier to me than putting your team in a position to lose a tight game because you were penalized for celebrating. Talk about a kill joy."
Here's how the NFC East and our next opponent, the Vikings, fared: