NFL Power Rankings Week 5: Not A Bad Bye Week For The Cowboys

13 out of 28 teams that have played four games are sitting at 2-2. This little stat alone should have you reading and hearing about parity in the NFL all week long until you're blue in the face. But we know better.

In the hard, brutal reality that are the Power Rankings we know that teams can only be ranked from 1 though 32. Now, some people would argue that power rankings would only matter if the Dallas Cowboys were playing college football (and even then, the system would be flawed). Well, the Cowboys aren't, so that's that.

In principle, we all know that Power Rankings are useless, their rationale suspect at best and they are only published to generate traffic. But so what?

There is a magic moment that you'll never forget where you find that one power ranking, that one ranking that makes you happy, that one ranking that makes you discard all others, that one ranking that is a perfect match for you: your ranking soulmate. 

We have collected 20 of the finest rankings for you to peruse, pore over and dissect - perhaps you'll find The One.

[Note: With addition of the SI.com ranking, our power rankings overview is now complete and we have 20 of 20 rankings included included in this post.]

1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates

SportingNews.com: 7th (+5). "So much for playing "catch up" in the NFC East-they're a half-game out of first and ready for a post-bye roll."

The Cowboys don't move on Peter King's Fine Fifteen and remain ranked 12th. "On the Cowboys' bye Sunday, Jerry Jones made no pronouncements. And the media of the Metroplex was pleased."

National Football Post: 12th (+1). "Will we continue to see the balanced play calling from Jason Garrett as the Cowboys come off of the bye?"

NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 13th (+3). Gil Brandt, whose work with the Cowboys we will forever cherish and who by rights should be in the Hall of Fame right now, ranks the Cowboys 11th, while Vic Carucci, an evil man who secretly worships at the altar of pagan gods, ranks the 'Boys 23nd.

USAToday.com: 14th (-1).

ESPN: 14th (+2). "Even though the Cowboys are 1-2, they still look like the best team in the NFC East. (Clayton) "

Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com: 17th (-1). "They come out of the bye week just one game out in the loss column in the division. They have to feel good about that the way they started the season."

Fox Sports: 19th (-3). "Dallas is one of the most disappointing teams so far, but they have way too much talent on both sides of the ball not to win the NFC East. The one thing that they have to improve on going forward is running the ball. There's simply no better way to get balance on offense than having a sustaining running game. Dallas' offense has been way too predictable so far."

SI.com: 19th (-3). "The Cowboys might have saved their season by beating Houston on the road in Week 3. Now they've got to keep the momentum going by beating a team that used to be in Houston (the Titans) at home in Dallas this week. That's called the Texas two-step, and if they do it right, the Cowboys will be 2-2 and back in the swing of things."

2. Blogs & Other Media

SB Nation.com: 13th (n.c.). "The Cowboys were knocked back a couple spots because better teams are moving ahead of them. The NFC East looks wide open at this point so the Cowboys will need to go on a nice little run to gain control."

Weii.com: 13th (+1). "The Cowboys come off their bye week and will enjoy three of their next four games at home. Despite a poor record, America’s team still has a great chance of taking the NFC East title considering the rest of the teams in that division."

ProFootballWeekly: 14th (+2). "Don't buy into the Roy Williams revival."

Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com: 14th (+5). "Gloom-and-doom has given way to a one-half game deficit for the lead in the NFC East."

ColdHardFootballFacts.com: 16th (-2). "How long is four years in the NFL? The last time the Cowboys and Titans met, a 45-14 Dallas win, Drew Bledsoe hooked up with Terry Glenn for two scores, Terrell Owens caught five passes, and Julius Jones rushed for 122 yards."

Fanhouse.com: 18th (n.c). "Not a bad bye week for the Cowboys. Everyone but Dez Bryant got a free meal in the lap of luxury and then the whole team benefited from another weekend that made it clear that parity is back in vogue in the NFL this season. That's terrific news for a team that lost their first two games and needed help to stay in the mix at the top of the NFC."

3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

WhatIFsports: 3rd (n.c.). 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.

AdvancedNFLstats: 4th (-1). Offense ranked No. 9 (+1), Defense ranked No. 8 (-7). This ranking model includes offensive and defensive passing and running efficiency, offensive turnover rates, defensive interception rates, and team penalty rates.

FootballOutsiders.com: 8th (n.c.). Offense ranked No. 8 (-2), Defense No. 18 (+4), Special Teams No. 12 (-1).

Covers.com: 11th (+3). "The Cowboys were off this past week but moved up in the rankings following road wins by Washington and Houston. Ten of their final 13 games are against teams currently .500 or better."

Jeff Sagarin's NFL rankings: 16th (n.c.). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Betus.com: 19th (-3). "An admittedly unfair ranking for the Cowboys who also had the week off. I’m just not convinced a win over Houston is enough to justify two awful games against Washington and Chicago." Next Game: Tennessee vs. Dallas -7.0.

Here's how the NFC East and our next opponent, the Titans, fared:


Dal_medium
Phi_medium
Nyg_medium
Was_medium
Ten_medium

  This Week
Last Week This Week Last Week This Week
Last Week This Week
Last Week This Week
Last Week
Whatifsports
3
3
13 4
7 5
10 6 6 7
AdvancedNFLstats 4 3 15 12
2 13 5 10 16 19
SportingNews 7
12 15 11 16 19 19 23 14 10
Football Outsiders
8
8 7 5 10 20 20 25 12 13
Covers.com 11 14
18 11 17 18 21 30
16 9
NFP.com
12
13
20
10
14 19
16 21 21 16
SB Nation 13
13 14 11 16 20 17 23 18 15
Weii.com
13
14 18 12 16 20
17 25
20 19
NFL.com
13
16
21 13 15 22
19 24 20 14
USAToday
14
13 15 10 20 24 21 22
19 16
ProFootballWeekly
14
16 15 12 16 20
21 24 17 13
ESPN 14
16 17 14 20 24
16 21 19 13
ProFootballTalk
14 19
20 15
16 20
19 22 11 5
CHFF.com 16
14
13 5 15 24 21 20 14 8
Sagarin Ratings 16 16 14 8
18 21 22 26 11 6
CBSsports
17
16
15
13
19
21
14
23 16 14
Fanhouse.com
18 18
24 14
20 25
14 22 17 10
Betus.com 19
16 12 14
15 19 17 22
20 13
Foxsports 19
16
20 11 11 21
18 25
15 3
SI.com
19
16
17 15 15 22
16 23
14 14
Average 13.2 13.6 16.2
11.0 14.9 19.9 17.2
21.9 15.8 11.9
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