NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Cowboys Rising

DeMarco Murray breaks free for his 91-yard touchdown run.

In terms of power rankings, the 16th-ranked Cowboys beat the 31st -ranked Rams on Sunday. So should the Cowboys move up the rankings this week?

Most of the power rankings in our weekly summary think they should, and have the Cowboys ranked about 14th, up about two spots from last week. The Giants and Eagles, who both had bye weeks, remain largely stable at number 10 and 18 respectively, while the Redskins take a plunge back into the twenties.

The NFC East is back to full action on Sunday as the Cowboys visit the Eagles, while the Giants host the Dolphins and the Redskins travel to Buffalo. Plenty of movement is still possible in these rankings, and there's a lot of football left to be played.

The summary of this week's power rankings after the break. And if you're easily amused, try to find the two quotes that do not mention DeMarco Murray.

1. Major Media Networks & Affiliates

Week 8 (previous rankings in parenthesis)

CBSsports.com: 14th (18th). "I still think this is a team nobody will want to play later in the season. They have talent. They have a huge game coming up against the Eagles this week."

National Football Post: 15th (18th). "Looks like the Cowboys found their answer at the RB position with rookie DeMarco Murray."

Pro Football Weekly: 16th (19th). "Who guessed DeMarco Murray would break one of Emmitt's records?"

NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 16th (20). Gil Brandt and Joe Theisman both have the Cowboys ranked 14th.

ESPN: 18th (21st). "Finally, the Cowboys got a blowout win, thanks to rookie DeMarco Murray's 253 rushing yards, the most by a player this season."

Fox Sports: 18th (21st). Brian Billick remains skeptical about the Cowboys: "If DeMarco Murray's explosion for 253 yards rushing, which allowed Tony Romo to only have to attempt 24 passes, can be a template for the Cowboys going forward, then the Cowboys can become a legitimate force in the NFC. If brother, if."

Sporting News: 19th (20th). "If you shop at the fine Big and Tall department at JCPenney, you know that Witten's image is pretty noticeable there. He's also hard to miss running across the middle making big catches for Tony Romo."

2. Blogs & Other Media

Walter Football: 12th (11th). No comments this week, as the site only provides comments for the top ten and bottom ten teams.

WEEI.com: 15th (18th). "The Cowboys were certainly happy to run into the dreadful Rams on Sunday after suffering back-to-back losses. DeMarco Murray’s performance was one for the ages as he rushed for 253 yards, eclipsing Emmitt Smith’s single game rushing record in Cowboys history. Let’s face it, the Rams are the worst team in the league against the run, but any time a running back can surpass Emmitt Smith in the record book, there has to be some legitimacy in Murray’s performance. He’ll have a chance for an encore performance next week against a division rival and a team that is also pretty bad at defending the run, the Eagles."

SB Nation: 16th (19th). "They had their first "get well" game against the Rams. The Seahawks can be the same in a couple weeks. The NFC East is still wide open."

ProFootballTalk.com: 18th (20th). "The only thing that would make DeMarco Murray’s breakout better for the Cowboys would be if he played quarterback."

3. Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

WhatIFsports: 3rd (7th). 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.

Advanced NFL Stats: 4th (2nd). The Cowboys slip two spots, as the Rams just weren't good enough to boost the Cowboys' rankings - despite the convincing win. The offense drops to sixth (-3) the defense drops to eighth (-3).

Sagarin NFL rankings: 8th (9th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength. Cowboys move up a spot as the Ravens tumble into the 9th spot after their heinous Monday Night loss to the Jaguars

Football Outsiders: 9th (15th). FO have the Cowboys with the 11th-ranked offense (+4), the third-ranked defense (+4) and the 28th ranked special teams (n.c.).

Drafttek.com: 15th (17th). The Draft Gurus are not the words types when it's not draft season and don't provide any comments. They move the Cowboys up two spots.

Covers.com: 15th (19th). "DeMarco Murray, ladies and gentlemen. A franchise-record 253 rushing yards. Now, can he do it against Philly instead of St. Louis?"

Below is how the NFC East fared in this week's power rankings:


Dal_medium
Phi_medium
Nyg_medium
Was_medium

Week 8 Week 7
Week 8
Week 7 Week 8
Week 7 Week 8
Week 7
Whatifsports.com 3 7 17 18 13 14 22 21
AdvancedNFLStats 4 2
9 11 8 10 14 12
Sagarin Ratings
8 9 18 16 20 19 23 21
Football Outsiders 9 15 16 17 10 7 21 18
Walter Football 12 11 15 13 8 10 25 22
CBS Sports 14 18 21 21 5 8 18 14
Drafttek 15 17 19 21 12 13 20 14
WEEI.com
15 18 18 19 10 9 23 20
Covers.com 15 19 17 17 10 10 23 18
NFP 15 18 14 16 6 9 22 19
ProFootballWeekly
16 19 21 22 7 10 20 15
SBNation 16 19 20 21 10 11 19 14
NFL.com 16 20 19 21 8 12 22 18
ESPN 18 21 22 20 11 11 20 15
PFT 18 20 21 21 6 10 22 17
Foxsports 18 21 17 18 12 12 21 19
Sporting News
19 20 17 17 7 9 24 21
Average 13.6
16.1 17.7
18.2 9.6
10.8 21.1
17.5
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