Interesting phenomenon in the power rankings for the Cowboys this week. Some of the published power rankings we look at barely move the Cowboys versus where they were ranked last week, perhaps on the strength of the showing the Cowboys delivered against the Patriots - despite the loss.
Other power rankings drop the Cowboys like hot potatoes in a power ranking equivalent of Overreaction Monday (or Tuesday, as it were).
Either way, the Cowboys barely hang on to the second spot in this week's power rankings with a 16.1 average, narrowly ahead of the Redskins at 17.5. The Eagles rank last, but squeeze into the top 20, the Giants are once again closing in on the top ten.
The summary of this week's power rankings after the break.
1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates
CBSSports.com: 18th (-6). "They've lost three tough games -- including to the Patriots Sunday -- but they are too talented to count out. Why not play to win at New England?"
National Football Post: 18th (-5). "The Cowboys failed to close out a win—again."
Pro Football Weekly: 19th (-2). "Poor play-calling in fourth quarter cost them chance at upset."
NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 20th (-3). Gil Brandt and Joe Theisman both have the Cowboys ranked 16th, but that's not enough to keep the Cowboys out of the twenties in NFL.com's consensus ranking.
Sporting News: 20th (-3). "Tony Romo is getting a lot of heat, but a concern for the Cowboys last week was shaking off the rust of their healthy starting wideouts. Witten, however, remains as good as ever."
ESPN: 21st (-6). "After a crushing loss to New England, the Cowboys get the 0-5 Rams." Thank you for this great insight, Ashley Fox.
Fox Sports: 21st (-2). Brian Billick offers this assessment: "The Cowboys need to find a running game to support QB Tony Romo and the inconsistent offense. Felix Jones, their feature back, rushed for only 14 yards on 8 attempts against the Patriots, and that just won't cut it. "
2. Blogs & Other Media
Walter Football: 11th (+1). No comments this week, as the site only provides comments for the top ten and bottom ten teams. However, Walter apparently sees a lot more positives in the Cowboys' performance against the Patriots than most other rankings and has the Cowboys moving up a notch.
WEEI.com: 18th (18). "Jason Garrett’s lack of confidence in Tony Romo when the game was on the line was obvious on Sunday. On the road, against a team that never loses at home with a quarterback known for his comebacks, Jason Garrett didn’t trust that his quarterback could get a much needed first down and it hurt his team. The Cowboys showed they can play with the best teams in the NFL, they just have to finish. At 2-3, Dallas is still a contender for the division."
SB Nation: 19th (-1). "Their three losses have come by a combined 11 points. Two of their next three games are against the Rams and Seahawks so those should be "get well" games."
ProFootballTalk.com: 20th (-1). "If you aren’t going to trust Tony Romo in the clutch, why is Tony Romo your quarterback?"
3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings
[updated] Advanced NFL Stats: 2nd (-1). They have the Cowboys ranked No. 2 on the strength of the third ranked offense (-1) and the fifth ranked defense (n.c.).
WhatIFsports: 7th (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.
Jeff Sagarin's NFL rankings: 9th (n.c.). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
[updated] Football Outsiders: 15th (+2). FO have the Cowboys with the 15th ranked offense (+4), the seventh ranked defense (n.c.) and the 28th ranked special teams (+1).
Drafttek.com: 17th (-4). The Draft Gurus mimic the strong, silent type and don't provide any comments. They drop the Cowboys four spots.
Covers.com: 19th (-1). "Tony Romo's INTs against Detroit two weeks ago may have cost Dallas a win at New England too. It caused some mighty conservative playcalling."
Below is how the NFC East fared in this week's power rankings, with the Rams thrown in for good measure:
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