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NFL Power Rankings Summary (Week 17): Life Without Tony Romo

Tony Romo's injury is the main topic in the power rankings this week. Can the Cowboys win the division without him?

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Ronald Martinez

After 17 weeks of power rankings, this is your final chance to take a look at what the football pundits and football stat geeks think about the Cowboys. It's also your last chance to marvel at the overhyped Eagles, witness the Giants' suckitude and revel in the Redskins' ineptitude.

Major Media Networks & Affiliates

Week 17 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis) (Prisco): 13th (18th): "It's win or go home this week against the Eagles. Do they have a chance if Tony Romo can't go?"

ESPN: 15th (18th): "Dallas' 24-23 victory over Washington in Week 16 was its fourth game decided by one point this season, most in the NFL. The Cowboys were 0-3 previously in those games"

Foxsports: 15th (18th): "It will be interesting to watch the fans go crawling back to Tony Romo once they see what life is like without him." 18th (18th). "Most intelligent football fans realize that Tony Romo's comebacks will never get as much airtime as his foul-ups, so we'll go in another direction. Despite DeMarco Murray's 22 attempts, Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan got away from the run AGAIN in the third quarter against the Redskins, though Murray had been averaging 6.5 yards per carry to that point. Thankfully for them, the quarterback they threw under the bus last week might have saved their gigs. Too bad no one was protecting his back."

Blogs & Other Media 14th (17th). "Tony Romo delivers in the clutch with a last-second touchdown pass in Washington to force Sunday’s winner-take-all showdown in Big D against the Eagles. That’s the good news. The bad news: A back injury looks as if it’ll keep him sidelined. Just brutal."

ProFootballTalk: 15th (17th): "When it comes to NFC East title games, maybe the third time will be a charm."

Drafttek: 17th (18th). "After an exciting, thrilling, 1 point victory over a 3-win Deadskins team, the Cowboys will now play another season-ending "win and you're in" playoff game against the Beagles (who destroyed the Bears) with Kyle Orton as starting QB. Where are the Romo-Bashers now?"

M-Live: 17th (19th): "Tony Romo has a herniated disc that might end his season, which makes his game-winning touchdown pass on fourth down that much more impressive."

Shutdown Corner: 18th (19th): "I'm not saying losing Tony Romo is a good thing, because it's clearly not, but as long as he's not too rusty, Kyle Orton isn't a terrible emergency option. There are a lot of teams that have it way worse." 19th (20th). "Nothing ever seems to go right in Dallas. It’s tough to rule out the Cowboys, but without Tony Romo the offense must completely change the way it has played all year. The Cowboys drop back to pass 64 percent of the time, tied for fifth most in the league."

NFC East blogs

Blogging The Boys (Home of the newly founded Kyle Orton fanclub): 13th (18th). "The Vegas oddsmakers quickly moved the line from -3 to -7 in Philadelphia's favor when news of Romo's injury broke yesterday. The Cowboys have long held that they have the best backup QB in the league (or at least they're paying him like one), so it's time to find out what Kyle Orton can do for the Cowboys."

Bleeding Green Nation (Eagles): 17th (18th). "Dallas almost found a way to lose to the second worst team in the NFL. Despite the win this week, this team simply hasn't been playing very well."

Big Blue View (Giants): 14th (18th). "It will just be a more interesting offseason if the Cowboys don't win any more games."

Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings

ColdHardFootballFacts: 9th (19th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats. 11th (114h). 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. 15th (17th). "The Cowboys have been in eight games decided by less than a TD this year. In true 'Cowboys mediocrity' fashion, they've gone 4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS in those contests."

Massey-Peabody: 16th (9th). 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.

Pro Football Reference: 16th (15th). PFRs Simple Rating System (SRS) takes only two factors into account: strength of schedule and adjusted margin of victory.

Sagarin NFL rankings: 17th (16th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Football Outsiders: 18th (19th). FO have the Cowboys with the 11th-ranked offense, the 30th-ranked defense and the 6th-ranked special teams.

Oddsshark: 19th (20th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Numberfire: 21st (21st). These rankings are based on expected point differential against a league average team. If the team's rating is 10, they would be expected to win by 10 points against a league-average opponent. This week, the Cowboys would be expected to lose by 1.4 points to such a league-average team. 23rd (21st). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.


The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium
Wk 17 Wk 16 Wk 17 Wk 16 Wk 17 Wk 16 Wk 17 Wk 16 13 18 11 11 23 23 31 31
Newsday 14 17 9 13 23 25 31 31
Pro Football Talk 15 17 7 9 22 25 31 31
ESPN 15 18 11 11 24 26 31 31
Foxsports 15 18 12 16 24 25 31 31
Drafttek 17 18 11 12 24 25 31 31
M-live 17 19 11 12 24 25 31 31 18 18 11 12 23 23 31 31
Shutdown Corner 18 19 9 9 24 27 31 31
WEEI 19 20 12 16 22 23 31 31
Avg.Opinion-based 16.1 18.2 10.4 12.1 23.3 24.7 31 31
Cold Hard Football Facts 9 19 5 8 27 30 29 27
Beatgraphs 11 14 7 7 19 20 29 31 15 17 9 10 21 24 31 31
Massey Peabody 16 9 11 17 22 22 30 30
Pro Football Reference 16 15 13 17 25 27 31 31
Sagarin 17 16 13 14 26 25 29 30
Football Outsiders 18 19 8 11 27 28 29 30
Oddsshark 19 20 6 8 16 18 29 29
Numberfire 21 21 6 9 25 27 26 26
Team Rankings 23 21 13 15 20 24 31 30
Avg. Stat-based 16.5 17.1 9.1 11.6 22.8 24.5 29.4 29.5
Total 16.3 17.6 9.7 11.8 23 24.6 30.2 30.2

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