NFL Power Rankings Heading Into Week 1 Of The 2012 NFL Season

The ability to protect their QB will probably make or break the Cowboys' season - just as it will that of every other NFL team.

You're counting down the hours until the Cowboys kick off the season against the The New York City Football National Football League Football Giants Of New Jersey.

You can feel the excitement. You’ve done your homework. You've devoured every season preview. You’ve scoured the internet for players on the waiver wire and you've followed the roster cuts like it was the real NFL Draft. There's only one question left: how good are the Cowboys?

If you ask the people regularly publishing power rankings, the answer would be "not so much." The Cowboys remain largely unchanged to where they were at the start of preseason, a middling 15th, amid widespread concerns about the Cowboys' O-line. Funny that the one NFC East team whose quarterback did get hurt in preseason actually improved its rankings.

All 12 Week One power rankings after the break.

Major Media Networks & Affiliates

Foxsports: 13th. "I refuse to pick the Cowboys to win the division until they actually do. Every year, the hype machine is in full effect in Dallas, but the team always seems to disappoint. I have more faith in QB Tony Romo than others and the defense improved immensely this offseason. The vulnerability of this defense was at the cornerback position, but with the addition of Brandon Carr and the subsequent drafting of Morris Claiborne, it has become a bright spot."

CBSSports: 14th. "Every summer, we rave about their talent. Then it never pans out. Is this the season it does?"

ESPN: 14th. "They have elite talent at key positions, but can Tony Romo and all of his weapons stay healthy? There's not a lot of depth behind the stars in Dallas. (Graziano)" 14th. Elliot Harrison provides the comments: "Have you been injured an accident? If you've had to play behind the firm of Livings, Costa and Bernadeau, you probably have. Those three have to play ball against the Giants' front four Wednesday night, or it'll be 0-1 for Dallas. "

Natonal Football Post: 17th. "The Cowboys addressed the secondary this offseason, but if they want to make a run at the playoffs QB Tony Romo has to play at a high level."

ProFootballWeekly: 17th. "Tony Romo clearly tired of having to answer for everything Jerry Jones says."

Blogs & Other Media

WhatIFsports: 12th. 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.

PFT: 13th. "All this talk about when the window is closing presumes it was ever open. One playoff win in 16 years suggests otherwise."

Covers: 14th. "Tony Romo is coming off his best season, playing through multiple injuries to finish the year with a 31-to-10 TD-to-INT ratio and more than 4,100 passing yards. But can the Cowboys OL protect him?"

SBNation: 15th. "Dallas Cowboys (LW: 15): It'd take a career year from Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray to take a big step and Dez Bryant to stay on the field every week, but it's not crazy to think this team can make a playoff run." 16th. This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Chicago Tribune: 20th. "Tony Romo could be in for a big season — if his offensive line can keep him upright."


Below is a summary of how the NFC East stacks up in this week's power rankings.


Week 1 Pre season Week 1
Pre season Week 1
Pre season Week 1
Pre season 12 - - 8 - - 14 - - 22 - -
Pro Football Talk 13 14 9 8 2 3 24 24
Foxsports 13 13 1 9 8 3 23 27 14 - - 8 - - 2 - - 23 - -
ESPN 14 14 7 7 3 1 24 25 14 - - 7 - - 3 - - 23 - -
CBSSports 14 14 6 8 2 1 26 27
SBNation 15 15 12 10 2 3 19 23
Team Rankings 16 16 6 6 2 2 26 26
NFP 17 - - 10 - - 3 - - 25 - -
ProFootballWeekly 17 - - 5 - - 1 - - 22 - -
Chicago Tribune 20 19 13 14 2 2 25 26
Average 14.9 15.0 7.7 8.9 3.7 2.1 23.5 25.4
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