Interesting things happened to the Cowboys in the power rankings during their bye week: The rankings that rely on nothing more than one person's opinion have the Cowboys slipping a notch, while the stat-based rankings have the Cowboys moving up a spot. Go figure.
For the Cowboys, all eyes are looking forward to Sunday's matchup against the Ravens. The Patriots are a consensus top five pick in this week's power rankings, while the Cowboys are ranked a middling 15th. If the Cowboys were to pull off an upset win against the favored Ravens, would the headlines be about how the Cowboys were able to win a big game? Probably not. If you've watched enough sports coverage on TV you'll know by now that it's only a big game if the Cowboys lose.
We kick off our Power Rankings summary with a video from the folks at SBNation:
Week 6 (previous rankings in parenthesis)
NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 14th (15th). Comments are courtesy of Elliot Harrison, who ranks the Cowboys 18th: "Hopefully Jason Garrett used the bye week to a) figure out how to help the interior of the offensive line, which has been terrible at times; b) teach Dez Bryant how to play football; and c) have a talk with himself about not abandoning the ground game so easily. "
WEEI.com: 14th (14th). "The Cowboys will have an extra week to prepare for one of the best teams in the AFC, the Ravens. The revamped secondary has been Dallas’ biggest strength so far. Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne have helped make the Cowboys the top pass defense in the league."
Fox Sports: 15th (15th). "The Cowboys will get tested immediately coming off their bye week as they travel to Baltimore next week. Beating a solid Ravens teams on the road may give this team the confidence to carry it through the season. "
SB Nation: 16th (17th). "They're an average team."
reddit.com: 17th (15th). "As much as teams dislike early byes, the Cowboy’s came at an opportune time to address the slow skid to the bottom of the NFC East. Top priority must be an abysmal offensive line that has resulted in the 29th ranked rushing attack in the league, creating a panicked induced pass-happy Romo."
Pro Football Weekly: 17th (12th). "Ravens defense not a good recipe for bounce-back game for Romo."
Newsday.com: 17th (17th). "Cowboys rested up after bye week following brutal loss to the Bears. But it’s another big-time defense up next, as Dallas visits the Ravens."
CBSsports.com: 18th (17th). "Did the week off help get them past that debacle against the Bears? We'll find out. They go to Baltimore this week."
ProFootballTalk.com: 19th (19th). "How irrelevant has America’s Team become? They had a week off, and no one noticed." Yet in that one week, PFT had 11 headlines specifically about the Cowboys, including a PFT Live broadcast. Are PFT planning a reunion of The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphopricy?
Shutdown Corner: 21st (19th). "Off last week."
WhatIFsports: 10th (11th). 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.
Massey-Peabody Power Rankings: 10th (10th). These guys generate their predictions by working up from play-by-play data to calculate a performance figure for rushing, passing, scoring and play success.
Oddsshark: 15th (17th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the remaining strength of schedule.
Sagarin NFL rankings: 18th (18th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength. Cowboys enter these ratings ranked fifth.
Teamrankings.com: 19th (20th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.