The Cowboys matriculate towards their Monday night battle against the Chicago Bears in the early stages of developing a very stingy defense. While the offense isn't exactly working the way we are used to, or hoped for, Rob's Mob just turned in a shutdown performance of a team that put up plenty of points against our rival New York Giants. OK, so the Tampa offense isn't exactly a world-domination threat; but they looked very credible just a week earlier. Dallas shouldn't get credit for making them look silly and unprepared?
Can this last? Where do the Cowboys stand amongst their NFL peers?
We'll find out over the next few weeks but individually there are a lot of indications to be hopeful over. Right now, however, those players dominate the Weekly Top 25 Individual Player Power Rankings. As I explained in last weeks Player Power Rankings, current performance, history and potential all play a role in determining the rankings. As we get further along in the season, current performance starts to weigh heavier and heavier.
Let's take a look at the Individual power rankings and my usual attempts at humorous notes before jumping into the first edition of the "KD Score" Team Rankings.
|1||DeMarcus Ware||OLB||1||Two strip sacks, including one in the 4Q on 3rd down to ice the game. I wonder how good he'd be if he showed up when it mattered? [/sarcasm]|
|2||Tony Romo||QB||2||Nails. Overcooked steaks. Teflon. Cracking OCC code. Ain't nothing tougher than Tony Romo. "That's My Quarterback!"|
|3||Sean Lee||ILB||3||Chuck Norris doesn't have normal white blood cells like you and I. His have a small black ring around them. This signifies that they are black belts in every form of martial arts and they roundhouse kick the sick out of viruses. That's why Chuck Norris never gets ill.|
|4||Brandon Carr||CB||5||With Revis out for the year, Carr is throwing his name in the ring for 2012's best DB. He wouldn't let anyone catch that, either.|
|5||Miles Austin||WR||6||"Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be Number 1."- Arthur Ashe & Miles To Dez|
|6||DeMarco Murray||RB||4||I spoke on it briefly and OCC hammered the point home; he is facing stone defensive walls early in 2012 behind paper mache protection.|
|7||Anthony Spencer||OLB||12||Led the team in tackles in Week 3, becoming first player to even win a round off of Chuck Norris errrr Sean Lee. Still, no sack no glory [/sarcasm].|
|8||Dez Bryant||WR||8||Made some outstanding "hand" grabs of passes in Week 3, and then changed punt returns from cha-cha slides to the running man (those are dances for the L7's out there)|
|9||Bruce Carter||ILB||13||Guess who just might be the Cowboys best run defender? If he gets his read recognition down… whoooohaaaa!|
|10||Nate Livings||LG||9||He's been the Cowboys most consistent trench guy, but is in danger of catching a case of the dreaded Dallas O-Lineman Disease.|
|11||Jay Ratliff||NT||10||Look at this Dallas defense. Now imagine it with a rested Ratliff collapsing the pocket in the 4th quarters. I hope you aren't wearing sweatpants students.|
|12||Jason Hatcher||DE||11||Opponents have noticed that Hatcher is an improved man and have focused on stopping him. He needs #90.|
|13||Jason Witten||TE||7||Watching Witten struggle is killing our souls. Not my original thought, but there's really nothing else to say.|
|14||Mike Jenkins||CB||21||Remember when I was telling some of you crazy guys that trading Jenkins would be crazy? Well, I told you so.|
|15||Kevin Ogletree||WR||19||His 2nd productive game in 3 contests has him approaching L'aurent Plaza. I'm just saying.|
|16||Sean Lissemore||DE||15||Lissy keeps stuffing the run and biding time for Ratliff to return and make the D-line elite.|
|17||Morris Claiborne||CB||16||Can you imagine being able to learn from Brandon Carr, against Miles and Dez? Everyday? It's like the Cowboys version of Sky High.|
|18||Gerald Sensabaugh||SS||17||So you're telling me we're able to trot out a secondary of PickSix-Sensi-Carr-Scandrick-Jenks? ::giggles like a schoolgirl::|
|19||Dan Bailey||PK||18||Unfortunately, "Split'Em" was only able to muster a tie against the Bucs on Sunday; 10-10. Wait a minute… "SPLIT'EM!"|
|20||Tyron Smith||LT||14||Color me concerned. This transition to left tackle isn't going great; I'd be a lot more patient if the rest of the line could pick up the slack but it can't. Tony's getting killed.|
|21||John Phillips||TE||22||Here's a fun fact; John Phillips blocking as Cowboys 2nd tight end is DOMINATING Martellus Bennett's as the Giants first-stringer. Hey, it's something.|
|22||Ryan Cook||C||20||Gave up his first sack on Sunday, but has still been pretty impressive since joining the club right before the season.|
|23||Victor Butler||OLB||24||OK, who told Victor Butler he's allowed to be good against the run? No sacks yet, but that's what he's really good at.|
|24||Doug Free||RT||23||And then we're gonna find our best friend Doug, And then we're gonna give him a best friend hug...Dougggg, Dougggg, OHH, Douggg, Dougie, Dougie, Doug, Doug... and if you've been murdered by Crystal Meth tweekers...|
|25||Josh Brent||NT||30||Brent has been consistent in the middle in Rat's absence. Consistent in the middle; wish I could say that for this expanding space above my belt.|
The "KD Score" rankings are making their debut in text before moving to another medium next week. As stated in the article title, these are non-scientific, yet stat based.
So what does "Non-Scientific But Stat Based" even mean? Well, what I did was take some of the most predictive and descriptive stats for overall team performance (hat tip to Fan Through Thick and Thin and OCC) and then logically butchered them by combining them into a weighted formula that could probably use plenty of refining. I believe the stats used are the best indicators of team quality available.
Regardless, when it was all said and done there was a ranking of teams based on their "KD Score" that I think puts a great view on the NFL as it stands.
The formula includes Net YPA differential, Win Totals, Total Expected Points Added (AdvancedNFLStats.com), Passer Rating Differential and Turnover Differential.
Without further ado, here they are. Tell me what you think in the comments, I look forward to your mockings (ok, not really.. you guys know I'm surly :D)