The NFL Power Rankings this week are predictably kind to the Cowboys, moving them almost back into the top ten. Is this move coming just in tine?
The top ten is where the Falcons and Lions already find themselves as the hunt for the remaining playoff spots in the NFC comes down to the last few remaining games.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the NFC East, the Giants take a plunge after their loss to the lowly Redskins, while the Eagles are creeping back toward the middle of the rankings.
Full power rankings for the remaining NFC playoff contenders after the break.
ProFootballWeekly: 10th (12th). "Can get revenge against Iggles; one step closer to division title."
Sporting News: 10th (13th). "All Jerry Jones wants for the season is his 'Boys to reward a great comeback from Romo with a playoff berth. Maybe Romo should just take that into his own hands."
Drafttek.com: 10th (13th). No comments from the draft gurus.
NFL.com: 10th (14th). Elliot Harrison provides the comments: "Rob Ryan's defense worked harder than his leave-in conditioner Saturday night, but there were still second-half breakdowns that give Cowboys fans serious pause. A huge bright side of the win in Tampa was the play of Felix Jones, who certainly had a fire lit under him after watching DeMarco Murray take his job. Jones now has 268 yards from scrimmage the past two weeks. Funny how that works."
ESPN: 10th (14th). "If they beat the Eagles and the Jets beat the Giants on Saturday, the Cowboys will win the NFC East."
WEEI.com: 11th (12th). "It’s amazing how fast a team’s fortunes can change in the NFL. After a demoralizing loss to the Giants last week, the Cowboys are back in the driver’s seat in the NFC East race because of the Redskins’ upset victory over New York. Felix Jones will be key to the Cowboys success. Tony Romo needs a strong run game to balance the offense and keep opposing teams on their toes. The division title is on the line the next two weeks. If the Cowboys can beat the Eagles and Giants, they’ll be division champs."
Covers.com: 11th (12th). "Beating the woeful Bucs was a foregone conclusion, even for a mediocre team like Dallas. Big news for the Boys was the Giants' loss."
ProFootballTalk.com: 11th (13th). "Just when things look good for this team is precisely when they find a way to screw everything up."
Walter Football: 11th (13th). No comments here this week.
Fox Sports: 11th (15th). Brian Billick: "Tony Romo was an impressive 23-of-30 for 249 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday, and that may become the norm in Dallas for the rest of their season. With a beat-up backfield, the Cowboys will rely on Romo more than ever. He finally has all of his weapons on the outside in the game at the same time, and with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, they have the ability to put up points by the bucket load."
National Football Post: 12th (14th). "Romo and the Cowboys are back atop the NFC East. Will it stick this time?"
CBSsports.com: 13th (13th). "Their first half against Tampa Bay on Saturday night was as good as they've played all season. They win two, and they're in the playoffs. It's that simple."
SB Nation: 13th (14th). "Dallas leads the division by one game which means they control their destiny. Big Week 17 game against the Giants still looms."
Oddsshark: 6th (10th). Oddshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the remaining strength of schedule.
Advanced NFL Stats: 7th (8th). Offense stays ranked no. six, defense stays at no. twenty.
WhatIFsports: 8th (8th). 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.
Coolstandings.com: 10th (13th). These guy use Bill James' modified Pythagorean theorem to calculate their power rankings.
Football Outsiders: 11th (14th). FO have the Cowboys with the 9th-ranked offense (nc), the 15th-ranked defense (nc) and the 23rd ranked special teams (nc).
Sagarin NFL rankings: 11th (15th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Teamrankings.com: 16th (19th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.
Below is how the remaining NFC playoff contenders fared in this week's power rankings. The Eagles and Bears are still mathematically alive so I'm leaving them in. I'm also leaving them in because I'm too lazy to change the table format, and because immediately after the Cutler injury I wrote "We also leave the Cutler-less Bears in because while they are dead, nobody has realized it yet." This of course was met with loud protestations about how Hanie could win the Bears three games ...
For those who're interested, the Redskins rank 23.9 overall, 24.3 opinion-based and 23.1 stat-based. The remaining rankings will be updated when they become available.