NFL Power Rankings (Week 4): Cowboys Climb; Giants Drop Like Eli Manning In 1st Quarter

Streeter Lecka

In this week's power rankings, the Cowboys are edging closer to the top ten, the Giants and Eagles are trying to reverse their stall as they freefall into the bottom third of the rankings, and the Redskins remain lost somewhere in the backwoods of the power rankings.

In this week's summary rankings, the Cowboys inch closer to the top ten while the Giants drop like Eli Manning in the first quarter against the Panthers. The Redskins are closing in on Jacksonville, and the Eagles are also struggling to stay relevant.

Here's a look at the Dallas Cowboys and NFC East power rankings heading into Week 4 of the 2013 NFL season.

Opinion-based Rankings

Week 4 (previous rankings in parenthesis)

CBSSports.com (Prisco): 9th (13th): "In a bad division, they are the lone team that has a winning record. The defense really impressed against the Rams."

Foxsports: 11th (14th): "If only DeMarco Murray could play the Rams every week… "

CBSSports (Kirwan): 11th (- -): "The NFC east is a mess and the Cowboys can pull away, especially if DeMarco Murray stays healthy."

Peter King: 12th (- -): "The Cowboys are the class of the NFC East by default—though they played well in embarrassing the Rams. DeMarco Murray needs to stay healthy, or the over-reliance on Tony Romo will hurt their chances of playing deep into January."

Drafttek: 12th (14th). "If DeMarco Murray could play against the Rams defense every week, he would have Emmitt Smith's NFL record in his gunsights . . . total defensive domination by the 'Boys today, dare I say it . . . "Doomsday III"???"

NFL.com's Elliott Harrison: 12th (14th). "In honor of what seemed like the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Cowboys actually having a running game, the team decided to run the football, leaving DeMarco Murray breathing heavily, like a boxer worn out from continually punching a guy.

Oh, and before we go, all those USC fans who derided Dallas' decision to hire Monte Kiffin might want to rethink their stance. The Cowboys' defense has been a huge bright spot, ranking second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (66.3), sacks (13) and opponent time of possession (25:52). The unit is allowing opponents to convert on third down just 29.7 percent of the time (fifth best in the league).
"

WEEI.com: 15th (15th): "The NFC East is wide open for the Cowboys to take. They’ve been marred by mediocrity the past two seasons, posting an 8-8 record both years. This could finally be the year when Jason Garrett‘s team takes advantage of its opportunity."

Newsday.com: 15th (15th). "Can’t ask for much more out of the Dallas offense in this one, as DeMarco Murray gets his first 100-yard rushing game in nearly a year, and Tony Romo throws three TDs in a romp over the Rams. "

ESPN: 15th (15th): "DeMarco Murray loves the Rams. Murray rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown Sunday against St. Louis. His only other career 140-yard game came against the Rams (Week 7, 2011)."

Snark-based Rankings

Shutdown Corner: 14th (13th): "We all expect that somehow the Cowboys' coaching staff will totally forget all about the running game again this week, right? Old habits die hard."

ProFootballTalk: 14th (16th): "At least we’ve determined Tony Romo knows how to hand the ball off like Peyton Manning."

SB Nation: 15th (15th): "Congrats, Jerry, you've got the best team in the NFC East. This might be Jason Garrett's best 8-8 season ever."

Stat-based Rankings

Covers.com: 6th (9th). "Dallas spent the first two weeks of the season struggling to run the football, but DeMarco Murray broke out with a 175 yard rushing effort against the Rams last week."

WhatIfSports.com: 7th (14th). 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: 7th (- -). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Massey-Peabody: 8th (17th). 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.

BeatGraphs.com: 10th. 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. Here's a sampling of their fine handywork:

Beatgraphs_week_4_medium

This is just one of the many cool graphs they produce, and not just for the NFL, so go pay them a visit.

Oddsshark: 10th (12th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Football Outsiders: 14th (21st). FO have the Cowboys with the 17th-ranked offense, the 11th-ranked defense and the 15th-ranked special teams.

Teamrankings.com: 17th (24th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Star_medium

The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams, as well as the Cowboys' next opponent, the San Diego Chargers. We will update the remaining power rankings when they are published.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Sdc_medium
Weeks wk4 wk3 wk4 wk3 wk4 wk3 wk4 wk3 wk4
CBSSports.com 9 13 20 18 29 22 30 27 19
Foxsports 11 14 20 19 29 24 28 26 19
Drafttek 12 14 23 15 29 17 28 25 19
NFL.com 12 14 20 17 28 25 26 24 18
Shutdown Corner 14 13 20 18 25 24 26 27 18
Pro Football Talk 14 16 19 15 27 22 29 26 18
WEEI 15 15 18 17 26 18 23 20 17
SBNation 15 15 19 18 27 24 23 19 20
Newsday 15 15 20 17 26 19 21 18 18
ESPN 15 15 23 19 29 20 27 24 19
Avg.Opinion-based 13.2 14.4 20.2 17.3 27.5 21.5 26.1 23.6 18.5
Covers.com 6 9 17 17 22 14 21 23 18
Whatifsports 7 14 15 21 27 23 25 18 17
Sagarin 7 - - 23 - - 14 - - 25 - - 18
Massey Peabody 8 17 24 24 19 10 22 25 13
Oddsshark 10 12 31 31 19 17 9 8 25
Beatgraphs 10 - - 29 - - 30 - - 32 - - 24
Football Outsiders 14 21 15 6 31 30 30 31 18
Team Rankings 17 24 30 27 28 26 31 31 21
Avg. Stat-based 9.8 17.0 23.0 19.0 23.7 20.6 24.3 25.6 19.2
Total 11.7 15.2 21.4 17.8 25.8 21.2 25.3 24.2 18.8
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