The Cowboys clawed their way to a .500 record with the win over the Browns on Sunday, and are now one of 17 teams that do not have a losing record.
If power rankings were based solely on W/L records, the Cowboys should be ranked somewhere between 15th and 17th - that's where their .500 winning record places them together with the Bengals and Saints.
From where they are sitting now, things could change in a hurry for the Cowboys, a win on Thanksgiving (and a loss by the Giants on Sunday) would put them in first place in the NFC East, a loss would loss would drop them to third behind the Redskins and likely out of playoff contention.
On to this week's power rankings.
Week 12 (previous rankings in parenthesis)
Newsday.com: 12th (15th). "Just when it looks like the Cowboys will go kerplunk – i.e. lose at home to the awful Browns – they pull off a dramatic comeback and remain a factor. Only one game behind the slumping Giants, and this thing can change in a hurry. "
WEII.com: 13th (12th). "Jason Garrett‘s team just doesn’t seem like one capable of winning playoff games. The Cowboys are too inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Penalties and stupid mistakes seem to occur each week. The defense only had nine players on the field when the Browns scored a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter."
NFL.com's Brain Trust of Experts: 15th (12th). Comments by Elliot Harrison, who ranks the Cowboys 16th: "Another solid showing by Tony Romo, who did not throw an interception for the third straight week. Interesting that another NFC quarterback threw five picks this week, which inspired this tweet ... "
@harrison_nfl Ryan throws 5 picks against a bad team: little attention paid to it. Romo throws 5 against a great team: national criticism.— Joe Walker (@SardonicSatire) November 18, 2012
"Couldn't have said it better myself. On the other side of the ball, DeMarcus Ware is not enough to get consistent pressure. The more defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is forced to use the blitz, the larger the gaps in coverage on the back end."
Drafttek.com: 15th (16th). "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . A Tale of Two Halves (plus OT) perhaps? I would replace every player who ended the game starting on the OL for da 'Boys (Smith has a high ankle sprain). Cuzzin Jerra hung around Crazy Uncle Al Davis too long . . . "Just Win, Baby!""
reddit.com: 16th (15th). "Coming into week 11, NFL experts, who apparently haven’t watched the Cowboys, nominated the team as the sexy new pick in the NFC playoff race. Jason Garrett and Company did their best to dispel that notion by being dominated by the Browns in the first half and doing just enough in the second half to squeak out a win in OT. Suddenly the remaining ‘easy’ schedule doesn’t look so easy."
ESPN: 16th (15th). "They needed an every-ounce comeback to beat the lowly Browns. Dez Bryant's emergence could be a difference-maker. (Graziano)"
Pro Football Weekly: 16th (15th). "Romo’s November magic (21-3 record) key for Dallas’ playoff hopes."
CBSsports.com: 16th (16th). "They have major issues on their offensive line. If they don't get better, Tony Romo might not make it through the season."
Fox Sports: 17th (16th). "Don't look now, but Tony Romo hasn’t thrown an interception in three straight games. "
Pro Football Talk: 17th (21st). "Wow, Rob Ryan really stuck it to the Browns."
Beatgraphs.com: 10th (11th). Though technically not a power ranking, they are included here anyway. Follow the link to check out the awesome graphs these guys.
Covers.com: 10th (12th). "I think this No. 10 ranking is definitely too high for Dallas, but my hard numbers won't allow me to bump any of the 22 teams ranked below them above the Cowboys."
Oddsshark: 12th (8th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.
Sagarin NFL rankings: 13th (12th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Advanced NFL Stats: 14th (10th). The Cowboys are ranked 13th on offense and 20th on defense.
Teamrankings.com: 16th (16th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.
WhatIFsports: 24th (19th). 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.
Below is how the NFC East fared in this week's power rankings.
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