NFL Power Rankings Week 3: Kerplunk! Cowboys Drop Like A Stone

The Cowboys will be doing some soul searching this week as they prepare for the Buccaneers.

Power Rankings are so much more enjoyable when your team won the last game. Well, the Cowboys didn't, so it's a good time to remind ourselves that power rankings don't mean diddly-squat.

But as it is, I find myself with the unenviable task of chronicling the Cowboys' fall from grace. Last week, the Cowboys were ranked 8th in the league on average. This week, they drop to 13th and fall behind both the Eagles and Giants.

After the break, we look at the NFC East power rankings heading into week three of the 2012 NFL season.

We'll start this week's power rankings with an SBNation video rundown of the week 3 rankings.

You can also view a detailed discussion at a Google Hangout featuring Joel Thorman and Brad Wells."

Opinion-based rankings

Week 3 (previous rankings in parenthesis)

WEEI.com: 11th (8th). "Inconsistency has defined the Cowboys for the last few years, and after Sunday’s loss it seems like they could be headed down that same road. Playoff-caliber teams string together solid performances."

CBSsports.com: 12th (6th). "So much for all that first-game excitement. It took one trip to Seattle to end that. They were dominated."

Fox Sports: 13th (6th). "Being a Dallas Cowboys fan must be like riding the most terrifying roller coaster in the country. One week they are the highest of highs and then the very next week are the lowest of lows. With really no explanation. "

Drafttek.com: 13th (7th). "Fumble the opening kick-off, have a punt blocked for a TD, throw an interception . . . not exactly a recipe of success! However, if Goodell is truly concerned about player safety, explain why helmet to helmet penalties are only called when they happen to an offensive player?"

Pro Football Weekly: 13th (10th). "Seattle continues to haunt Cowboys, as offense stalls in loss."

Peter King: 14th (6th). "Bad sign for the Cowboys: They got physically handled by Seattle. Bad sign II: Sean Lee got his clock cleaned by an injury-prone wide receiver."

reddit.com: 14th (9th). "Sloppy, inconsistent football has been a signature trait that many fans hoped would fade with the discipline brought by Jason Garrett. The Seahawks game proved that the culture at Valley Ranch hasn't significantly changed."

AP Pro32: 14th (9th). No further comments provided.

NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 15th (9th). Comments are courtesy of Elliot Harrison, who ranks the Cowboys 17th: "Dez Bryant might not be a bust, but he hurts his own guys as much as the other team's guys. Speaking of giving Tony Romo no help, the Cowboys' offensive line gives Tony Romo no help. Dallas simply isn't good enough to fumble kick returns, have punts blocked, have starting receivers drop multiple passes and still expect to win on the road -- much less a tough place to play like Seattle. "

ESPN: 15th (10th). "They were pushed around and beaten up in Seattle. The memory of big Week 1 win faded quickly. (Graziano)"

SB Nation: 15th (12th). "Ouch. 27-7 beat down at the hands of the Seahawks. This is probably who the Cowboys are, though -- looking very good one week, not so good the next. Inconsistent is the word I'm looking for."

Jason Brewer for SB Nation Philly: 15th (9th). "Like the Bears, did they maybe read their press clippings a bit much after week 1?"

ProFootballTalk.com: 17th (10th). "At least Tony Romo didn’t fumble the snap on a game-winning field goal try."

National Football Post: 18th (12th). "The Cowboys looked unprepared and soft in the loss to Seattle."

Stat-based rankings

Teamrankings.com: 5th (1st). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Oddsshark: 7th (7th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the remaining strength of schedule.

WhatIFsports: 9th (10th). 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.

Sagarin NFL rankings: 16th (5th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength. Cowboys enter these ratings ranked fifth.

Football Outsiders: 20th (9th). FO have the Cowboys with the 10th-ranked offense (-3), the 18th-ranked defense (-4) and the 28th ranked special teams (-8).

Star_medium

Below is how the NFC East fared in this week's power rankings, with next week's opponent, the Bucs, added for good measure:


Dal_medium
Phi_medium
Nyg_medium
Was_medium
Tam_medium
WEEI 11 8 5 15 13 10 23 17 21
CBSSports.com 12 6 4 8 15 13 21 18 24
Foxsports 13 6 4 12 7 9 19 18 18
Drafttek 13 7 6 13 11 9 18 14 19
ProFootballWeekly 13 10 7 12 8 8 18 16 16
reddit.com 14 9 8 17 7 11 19 16 17
AP Pro 32 14 9 6 12 8 10 20 16 21
NFL.com 15 9 5 11 9 10 17 15 21
ESPN 15 10 7 12 8 7 20 15 21
SBNation 15 12 5 13 9 6 17 16 24
Pro Football Talk 17 10 4 8 8 7 16 13 22
NFP 18 12 5 14 9 7 19 17 21
PFF - - 6 - - 13 - - 8 - - 17 - -
Avg.Opinion-based 14.1 8.8 5.5 12.3 9.3 8.8 18.9 16 20.4
Team Rankings 5 1 4 6 8 4 15 8 24
Oddsshark 7 7 10 6 9 26 11 2 20
Covers.com 9 10 8 8 7 6 21 17 22
Whatifsports 9 10 19 20 13 13 30 29 29
Massey Peabody 10 5 5 10 22 18 24 24 25
Sagarin Ratings 16 5 7 6 14 14 19 11 28
Football Outsiders 20 9 11 11 22 26 25 20 15
Avg. Stat-based 10.8 7.8 9.1 11.2 13.5 17.8 20.7 18.5 23.2
Total Average 13.5 8.4 7.3
11.9 11.6
12.0 20.6 16.9 22.6

The missing rankings will be updated as they become available

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