NFL Power Rankings Week Three: Cowboys Tumble

NFL Power rankings can be a joy to look at when your team is winning, and rather painful when your team is losing. Our roundup of the weekly power rankings heading into week 3 sees the Dallas Cowboys tumble badly in the rankings.

Overall, it's been a bad start to the season for all NFC East teams. Our ranking summary gives the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins virtually identical middle-of-the-pack ratings, while the Eagles enjoy a slight lead thanks to the lone NFC East win last weekend, over no lesser team than the mighty Detroit Lions.

As usual, the rankings table includes our next opponent, the Houston Texans.

1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates 13th (-8). "They might be the most talented 0-2 team in the history of the NFL, since, well, the '93 Cowboys. Forget the entire NFL - now they need to prove they're the best team in their state." 14th (-7). No further comments provided, but they did have a wide receiver ranking that ranks the Cowboys receivers fourth: "WR Miles Austin had 76 grabs, 1,239 yards and 10 scores in 2009 — over the last 12 games. He could really post mind-boggling numbers over a full season, especially since the presence of perennial Pro Bowl TE Jason Witten, dynamic rookie WR Dez Bryant and, yes, Roy Williams makes it hard to double-team anyone.

National Football Post: 17th (-11). "Where is the running game and red zone production for the Cowboys?"

ESPN: 17th (-9). "Too bad they can't show past Cowboys seasons on the Cowboys Stadium big scoreboard ... thus far, the Cowboys haven't deserved the big screen (Clayton)"

Pete Prisco at 19th (-11). "If they lose to the Texans this week, look out. Wade Phillips' fanny has to be hotter than the cat fights on Jersey Shore."

[update] 20th. (-10). "OK, let's see Wade Phillips earn his head coaching paycheck and pull these Cowboys out of the mire they're in as they head to undefeated Houston. The last time we were all burying Dallas, it rose up and beat the 13-0 Saints on the road last December. Phillips doesn't always do his best work when fixes are needed, but if he doesn't get this thing turned around pretty quickly in Dallas, I don't believe he'll ever get another chance to call the shots as an NFL head coach."

Fox Sports: 22nd (-14). "Color me stunned that they are 0-2. Pinch me in Week 15 or so if they aren't pushing for a playoff spot. There is way too much talent on both sides of the ball for them not to be in the playoff picture this season."'s Brain Trust of Experts: 20nd (-8).

2. Blogs & Other Media

SB 11th (-3). "0-2 is not a good way to start. Losing to the Texans week is a very real possibility which would put the Cowboys in complete meltdown mode."

ProFootballWeekly: 15th (-6). "Offensive struggles are one thing, but what happened to the "D"?" 19th (-9). "First 0-2 start for the Cowboys since 2001. Things won’t get easier for Wade Phillips and crew next week when they take on a hot Texans team. Only three teams in the NFL have made the playoffs after starting a season 0-3 so if there is a "must win" game in Week 3, this is it." 22nd (-11). "While most of the nation is aghast at Dallas' 0-2 start, the Cowboys are at work trying to solve their problems. They are plagued by shoddy pass coverage, untimely penalties, and inconsistent play up front. It doesn't get any easier with a trip to Houston Sunday, but this is the kind of game that a championship contender with its back up against the wall finds a way to win."

Mike Florio at 22nd (-8). "It's not time to panic yet.  Lose to the Texans, and it'll be time to panic." 23rd (-10). "The Cowboys’ lack of Scoreability continues to haunt them. Dallas was the only good team in the bottom 10 of the stat last year. They’ve rolled up 790 yards with just 27 points this year, a preposterous 29.3 Yards Per Point Scored. Last year’s No. 32 team, St. Louis, needed only 25.54 yards a point, and they were easily the most inefficient squad in the NFL."

3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

WhatIFsports: 4th (-2). 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. 16th (-3). "What a mess…" 16th (-9). Offense ranked No. 10 (-6), Defense No. 23 (-12), Special Teams No. 14 (+7). 24th (-2). "Contender No. 2 that has turned into pretender. The Cowboys had better be careful or they could be staring 0-3 in the face with Houston this week. If so, bye bye Wade." 26th (-8). Their rankings are based on a proprietary algorithm, "smart math and 100% objective data".

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


  This Week
Last Week This Week Last Week This Week
Last Week This Week
Last Week This Week
5 6
9 9
12 14 3
SB Nation 11
8 14 15 19 16 17 12
SportingNews 13
5 11 15 18 14 21 20 5
7 17 16 18 14 19 17
9 16 16 12 11 19 18 4
Football Outsiders
7 15 19 19 4 25 28 10 16
13 19 14
14 11 18 21
15 8
14 16 5
8 16 18 19 16 14 14 3
16 3
10 17 19 14 8
16 17
10 19 19 17 11 18 15
12 16 17 19 10 14 14 3
Foxsports 22
8 14 18 19 11
21 20
11 16 16
21 14
13 10 2
14 18 20 14 12 15 13 4 23
13 14 12 21 9 12 17 4 24 22 19 20 18 1 21 12
Teamrankings 26 18 18 22
24 12 25 20 3
Average 18.0 10.1 15.6
16.7 17.1 10.4 17.5
16.5 4.2
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