Dallas Cowboys Week 2 Power Rankings: Defense Carries Cowboys Up The Chart

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season in the books, it's time to do what we'll do on Tuesdays for the next 16 weeks: review the NFL power rankings for the Cowboys and the other teams in the NFC East.

In power ranking parlance the middle-of-the-pack Cowboys beat middle-of-the-pack Giants, as both were ranked around 17th last week. With the win on Sunday, the Cowboys move up a few spots, while the Giants move down a few spots.

The Week 1 results are bound to shake up many pre-conceived notions about where teams stand, especially as these notions were largely based on last year's performance, not this year's. Were the six turnovers generated by the Cowboys defense a fluke; will the Giants have more luck in the next game; can the Eagles really beat other teams and how long will Vick stay healthy; and what happens when Robert Griffin is fully healthy?

We may not have the answers to these questions for quite a while, but the power rankings give us a first indication of where the popular opinion places each of the NFC East teams.

Opinion-based Rankings

Week 2 (previous rankings in parenthesis)

WEEI.com: 10th (14th): "Winning the turnover battle usually leads to W’s in the NFL, and the Cowboys were one of the worst teams at takeaways in 2012. Dallas is well on its way of passing its total of 16 from last year after causing six in its opener against the Giants."

CBSSports.com: 10th (14th): "What's it mean when they forced six turnovers and still were in a game late against the Giants? There is good and bad in that message."

NFL.com's Elliott Harrison: 12th (15th). "Important NFC East win for the Cowboys against a decent New York Giants team. Now that we got that out of the way ... is there any wide receiver in a Dallas uniform who knows what a sight adjustment is? Is there any team that hangs its quarterback out to dry more than Dallas? I swear, if Jerry Rice decided to come back and play for the Cowboys, he'd forget what a hot route is the moment he donned his blue-and-white No. 80. "

Drafttek: 12th (15th). ""Mike, Mike, Mike, What day is it Mike?" Yep, like that big ol' Camel on Hump Day, da 'Boys are celebrating a victory over the G-men. It appears Kiffin's defensive emphasis on turnovers is working, now the offense just has to take advantage of them."

SB Nation: 13th (16th): "The Cowboys got their first win in five tries against the Giants inside the walls of Jerry World. And for once it was the other team that kept turning the ball over."

Foxsports: 13th (17th): "Over the course of his career, you may question Tony Romo's decision-making, but you can never question his toughness. What a gutsy performance from Romo after taking a brutal shot to the ribs just before the half."

ESPN: 13th (18th): "Bill Callahan kept things short for Tony Romo. Romo threw two-thirds of his passes 5 yards or fewer downfield, his largest percentage in a game since 2008."

Newsday.com: 13th (19th). "Monte Kiffin is stressing turnovers in a big way, and his defense responded with six in a huge win over the Giants. Cowboys had just 16 takeaways the entire 2012 season."

Shutdown Corner: 14th (19th): "In the big picture, almost blowing a home game against a Giants team with five turnovers (the sixth effectively ended the game) leaves you a bit nervous."

ProFootballTalk: 14th (- -): "Just like last year, Dallas beat the Giants to start the season. The Cowboys hope the next 15 games unfold differently."

Stat-based Rankings (Warning: Low sample size after only one week)

Covers.com: 9th (14th). "Monte Kiffin's defense forced six turnovers and held New York out of the end zone from a first-and-goal situation, but they allowed an NFL-worst 10.2 yards per pass attempt."

Oddsshark: 12th (20th). 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: 13th (18th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

WhatIfSports.com: 15th (21st). 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.

Football Outsiders: 22nd (- -). FO have the Cowboys with the 26th-ranked offense, the 13th-ranked defense and the 10th-ranked special teams.

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The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams, as well as the Cowboys' next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Kan_medium
Weeks wk2 wk1 wk2 wk1 wk2 wk1 wk2 wk1 wk2
WEEI 10 14 16 24 14 12 17 11 18
CBSSports.com 10 14 15 25 10 19 22 16 18
NFL.com 12 15 15 26 16 19 18 10 22
Drafttek 12 15 13 24 16 13 20 12 18
Newsday 13 19 14 25 17 12 16 9 9
ESPN 13 18 14 25 16 12 19 10 20
SBNation 13 16 17 22 21 12 15 11 19
Foxsports 13 17 16 23 20 15 18 13 17
Shutdown Corner 14 19 12 25 18 12 19 13 15
Pro Football Talk 14 - - 5 - - 16 - - 20 - - - -
Avg.Opinion-based 12.4 16.3 13.7 24.3 16.4 14.0 18.4 11.6 17.5
Covers.com 9 14 17 23 10 9 18 13 15
Oddsshark 12 20 14 21 25 18 20 7 1
Team Rankings 13 18 19 28 21 11 24 8 28
Whatifsports 15 21 25 30 20 16 17 10 28
Football Outsiders 22 - - 8 - - 24 - - 29 - - 1
Avg. Stat-based 14.2 18.2 16.6 25.5 20 13.5 21.6 9.5 14.6
Total 13.0 16.9 14.6 24.6 17.6 13.8 19.4 11.0 16.5

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