NFL Power Rankings Summary (Week 16): Win Two And They're In

USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys take a tumble in this week's power rankings and get their share of scathing comments in the process, but it doesn't change the fact that two wins can still land the Cowboys a playoff spot, as improbable as that may sound right now.

With just two games left to play, there really isn't much point to these power rankings anymore. Teams either make the postseason or they don't, where they rank on a power rankings list is largely irrelevant.

Of course, some would argue that this has been the case with all power rankings since Week 1 - but the world would drown in snark if the snark couldn't find its natural outlet via these power rankings. Keep that in mind as you browse through the power rankings below.

Major Media Networks & Affiliates

Week 16 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)

ESPN: 18th (15th): "Romo was bad, but Bill Callahan was worse. Dallas ran on seven plays in the second half. With a big lead. And DeMarco Murray averaging 8.5 yards per first-half rush."

Foxsports: 18th (16th): "Dallas in December. Enough said."

NFL.com: 18th (16th). "Yes, we know Tony Romo audibled out of a run on his first interception. We also know that about 29 quarterbacks would have been sacked on that play, as the much-criticized Romo made Clay Matthews look absolutely silly. Secondly, if the Cowboys have the worst defense in the league, everyone wants Garrett fired and the play-calling is atrocious, then what or WHO has kept Dallas afloat at 7-7? Why aren't the Cowboys 3-11? Hmmm. "

CBSSports.com (Prisco): 18th (17th): "The defense has been putrid, but if they win the next two they are a playoff team. They sure don't look like it."

CBSSports (Kirwan): 19th (16th): "The Cowboys are like the Lions ... it's hard to have faith in them that they can close."

Blogs & Other Media

ProFootballTalk: 17th (13th): "Peyton Manning says whoever wrote the "Tony Romo is a great fourth-quarter quarterback" narrative can shove it where the sun don’t shine."

Newsday.com: 17th (14th). "The vicious cycle continues as Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and Tony Romo are left to explain another second-half letdown and another trip back to .500."

Drafttek: 18th (14th). "If Dallas could win enough games, Dan Bailey would be the MVP; in the meantime, HC Jason Garrett must come under intense scrutiny for 2 issues: 1) Who's calling the plays? and 2) Why get away from an effective running game 2 weeks in a row?"

M-Live: 19th (17th): "Listening to some national talk radio following Dallas' collapse, it sounds like the fans want owner Jerry Jones to step down as general manager more than ever."

Shutdown Corner: 19th (17th): "They're such a flawed team. That's why they're so interesting. Week 17 against the Eagles with a division title on the line would be a treat."

WEEI.com: 20th (15th). "Pretty telling tweet from ESPN’s Ed Werder: "How bad is Cowboys D? The Cowboys are 1-2 this season when scoring at least 35 points. The rest of the NFL is a combined 51-2.""

NFC East blogs

Bleeding Green Nation (Eagles): 18th (14th). "Romo'd"

Big Blue View (Giants): 18th (15th). "You can't make up these Tony Romo interception tales better than this."

Blogging The Boys (The place to commiserate with fellow Cowboys fans): 18th (16th). "Throughout the season, the Cowboys have shown that they can overcome injuries, lack of depth, a questionable scheme, and lack of production by their star players often enough to at least stay in the hunt for a division title. But when you add inept coaching to the mix, it's just too much."

Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

BeatGraphs.com: 14th (11th). BeatGraphs provide rankings that cannot be defeated by a chain of A beat B beat C scenarios. In the end, when all ambiguity is removed, if A has beaten B, A will be ranked above B.

Pro Football Reference: 15th (15th). PFRs Simple Rating System (SRS) takes only two factors into account: strength of schedule and adjusted margin of victory.

Sagarin NFL rankings: 16th (12th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Covers.com: 17th (12th). "The heat on head coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will only get worse after blowing a 23 point halftime lead at home."

ColdHardFootballFacts: 19th (18th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.

Oddsshark: 20th (22nd). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Teamrankings.com: 21st (15th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Numberfire: 21st (18th). These rankings are based on expected point differential against a league average team. If the team's rating is 10, they would be expected to win by 10 points against a league-average opponent. This week, the Cowboys would be expected to lose by 1.4 points to such a league-average team.

Star_medium

The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams. As usual, we'll update the remaining rankings once they're available.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium
Wk 16 Wk 15 Wk 16 Wk 15 Wk 16 Wk 15 Wk 16 Wk 15
Pro Football Talk 17 13 9 9 25 24 31 31
Newsday 17 14 13 9 25 21 31 31
Drafttek 18 14 12 9 25 23 31 31
ESPN 18 15 11 9 26 23 31 31
Foxsports 18 16 16 9 25 22 31 31
NFL.com 18 16 12 9 23 22 31 31
CBSSports.com 18 17 11 9 23 21 31 31
M-live 19 17 12 8 25 20 31 31
Shutdown Corner 19 17 9 9 27 26 31 31
WEEI 20 15 16 9 23 23 31 31
Avg.Opinion-based 18.2 15.4 12.1 8.8 24.7 22.4 31.0 31.0
Beatgraphs 14 11 7 6 20 14 31 31
Pro Football Reference 15 15 17 14 27 25 31 31
Sagarin 16 12 14 14 25 24 30 31
Covers.com 17 12 10 8 24 19 31 32
Cold Hard Football Facts 19 18 8 8 30 30 27 28
Oddsshark 20 22 8 11 18 20 29 30
Team Rankings 21 15 15 9 24 20 30 31
Numberfire 21 18 9 6 27 26 26 27
Massey Peabody - - 8 - - 17 - - 18 - - 19
Football Outsiders - - 15 - - 11 - - 27 - - 30
Avg. Stat-based 17.8 14.6 11 10.4 24.3 22.3 29.3 29
Total 18 15 11.6 9.6 24.5 22.3 30.2 29.9

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