NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Cowboys Bottom Out, Or Do They?

ARLINGTON TX - OCTOBER 31: Quarterback David Garrad #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 31 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Who cares about power rankings when the Cowboys are 1-6? Not many people. So this week, we're turning things around.

As of now, these power ranking posts only pretend to be about power rankings: Yes, the Giants have crept into the top five, the Eagles and Redskins have fallen slightly out of favor and down the rankings, and the Cowboys seem to have bottomed out. That's what you would think if you'd merely skim this post.

In reality, these posts are about something else altogether. I have perfected a revolutionary technique whereby the table at the bottom of this post has a secret column in Cowboys Blue ink that is only visible to Cowboys fans and closet Cowboys fans. That column reveals what the consensus draft pick for the Cowboys will be next year. Right now, the Cowboys look to have the number four pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

[Note: 20 of 20 power rankings are now in.]

1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates 21st (-3). "Dez Bryant gets honorable mention for being so bright in a bleak situation, but it's time to go with another pass rusher: DeMarcus Ware."

National Football Post: 28th (-5). "Wade Phillips is working on borrowed time for a team that has packed it in for the season." 29th (-8).'s Brain Trust of Experts: 29th (-5).

Pete Prisco at 29th (-4). "I know it's not Jerry Jones' way to fire a coach during the season, but the Cowboys have quit. How else can you explain that loss to the Jaguars?"

ESPN: 29th (-3). "The Cowboys are a good two-minute team, playing good for two minutes and bad for 58. (Clayton)"

Fox Sports: 30th (-5). "You have to wonder how much longer Jerry Jones will put up with the downward spiral Dallas has been on for several weeks. This is yet another team I was clearly wrong about coming into the season. How could they have so much talent on both sides of the ball but continue to underachieve? That could take hours to explain."

[updated] 32nd (-6). "On the flip side, you can question everything about the 2010 Cowboys. Their effort. Their mental toughness. Their willingness to do more than just pick up a paycheck and fill out a uniform. If Dallas does nothing but goes through the motions for the rest of the season, like it did last week at home against Jacksonville, this will be far more galling to owner Jerry Jones than his hopeless 1-15 debut season of 1989."

2. Blogs & Other Media

ProFootballWeekly: 28th (-8). "Forget Tony Romo — what the heck happened to that defense?"

[updated] 28th (-4). "Marion Barber has picked up first downs on a higher percentage of his runs than any other RB in the league (33.8 percent). He’s also fifth in avoiding negative runs. Maybe the Cowboys might want to consider running the ball more than 22 times per game (31st of 32 teams). Or firing their coach. Or both." 30th (-7). "Two quotes from this week speak volumes about the Dallas Cowboys: "If I knew what to do, I would have already done it." - Wade Phillips, Cowboys Head Coach. "It just looked like they weren’t into the game like an NFL team should be." - David Garrard, Jaguars QB."

SB 30th (-2). "All hope is lost this year. We're just seeing how long Wade Phillips sticks around now." 31st (-6). "If Jerry Jones is going to insist on continuing to be the G.M. of this team, why not go ahead and become the coach, too?" 32nd (-3). "If the Cowboys bandwagon emptied after a Week 7 loss to the Vikings, it drove off a cliff in a 35-17 home loss to the Jaguars on Sunday. Jon Kitna threw four interceptions in his first start, and somehow the defense emerged as the biggest scapegoat in this dreadful season."

3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

[updated] AdvancedNFLstats: 16th (-2). Offense ranked No. 9 (-3), Defense ranked No. 28 (-7). This ranking model includes offensive and defensive passing and running efficiency, offensive turnover rates, defensive interception rates, and team penalty rates.

WhatIFsports: 25th (-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. 27th (-10). Offense ranked No. 18 (-8), Defense No. 28 (n.c.), Special Teams No. 16 (n.c.).

Jeff Sagarin's NFL rankings: 29th (-4). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength. 29th (-3). "If the Cowboys season wasn't cooked after the loss to the Giants, it is now after the loss to the Jaguars. Dallas now heads to Green Bay and New York where it will be 1-8 after." 30th (-1). "There’s a lot of talk of Wade Phillips getting ousted in favor of a guy like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden…but I don’t see either of those guys touching this crap sandwich. Jerry Jones will inevitably have to turn to the one guy he knows he can control – offensive coordinator Jason Garrett."

Here's how the NFC East and our next opponent, the Packers, fared, plus what draft pick for the Cowboys each ranking translates to:


This Week Draft Pick Last Week This Week Last Week This Week Last Week This Week Last Week This Week
AdvancedNFLstats 16 17 14 10 8 2 3 17 12 7
SportingNews 21 12 18 13 13 7 6 17 15 5
25 8 21 5 5 4 4 17 13 16
Football Outsiders
27 6 17 2 6 6 1 21 23 10
28 5 20 13 13 6 7 19 15 9 28 5 13 14 15 3 4 19 14 8 28 5 24 9 10 3 3 22 17 6
USAToday 29 4 21 14 13 7 8 19 16 8 29 4 24 14 13 5 6 20 15 8
Sagarin Ratings 29 4 18 11 10 9 8 17 13 8
CBSsports 29 4 25 12 12 3 5 17 11 14
ESPN 29 4 26 12 11 7 9 18 13 8 29 4 26 12 10 7 7 19 14 9 30 3 23 13 13 6 6 17 15 19
Foxsports 30 3 25 14 15 2 5 18 11 13
SB Nation 30 3 28 14 14 7 8 19 13 4 30 3 29 15 13 3 3 22 11 6
ProFootballTalk 31 2 25 13 14 4 6 20 16 9 32 1 29 12 12 4 7 18 10 7 32 1 29 13 10 3 3 19 13 11
Average 28.1 4.9 23.6 11.8
11.5 4.9 5.5
18.8 14.0 8.8
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