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NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Rising And Falling In The NFC East

In this week's summary of NFL power rankings, we look at how far the Cowboys fall after the loss to the Redskins, take a look at where the other NFC East teams are ranked, and look at how the Cardinals fared in the various power rankings published today.

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Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a rundown of the many power rankings published today and their take on where the Cowboys rank this week. A little further down you can see how that compares to the current NFC East teams and one former NFC East team.

Opinion-based rankings

Week 9 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis) (Peter King): 2nd (1st): "Not a lot of time to breathe easy after tonight’s game with Washington. Arizona comes to Texas next Sunday for the game of the week in the NFC."

CBSSports (Kirwan): 3rd (2nd): "The Cowboys simply can't lose to the Redskins at home with Colt McCoy at QB and expect to keep the No. 2 spot. Alfred Morris exposed a few issues with the run defense."

Bleacher Report: 4th (1st): "Winning will cure any and all concerns in Dallas, but fans have seen a second-half collapse from this team before, and that has to be on everyone's mind heading into Week 9."

ESPN: 4th (2nd): "DeMarco Murray gained an incredible 5.2 yards before contact on his average rush Monday night. Somehow, with Tony Romo injured in an overtime loss, Murray had a season-low 19 rushes."

Bleeding Green Nation: 4th (2nd): "So the Cowboys aren't unbeatable after all. The Dallas defense just couldn't handle Washington third string quarterback Colt McCoy, which really says a lot about that unit. Quarterback Tony Romo was also shaken up in the game. Just a blip in the radar or the beginning of more bad things to come for the Cowboys?"

Penn-Live: 4th (2nd): "Dallas fans saw perhaps a whole lot more than a 6-1 start come crumbling down under the weight of a Keenan Robinson sack. Though Tony Romo returned to Monday night's game against Washington, he continued to be battered in an OT defeat. DeMarco Murray's fifth lost fumble was bigger than his eighth 100-yard game."

CBSSports (Prisco): 4th (3rd): "Losing to the Redskins at home is tough to handle. But they have to turn around quickly with the Cardinals coming to town. How is Tony Romo's back?"

USA Today: 5th (2nd): "Unfortunately for Tony Romo, the Willis Reed act only works well if your team pulls out a victory."

SB Nation: 5th (2nd): "The Cowboys lost to division rival Washington on Monday Night Football, taking a little wind out of their sails following a torrid first seven weeks. With the loss, Dallas drops to No. 5 in our rankings and while it'll have to deal with some injuries on defense, its offense remains a potent threat week in and week out."

Newsday: 5th (2nd): "Cowboys suffer the upset at home to Washington, but it could have been worse. At least Tony Romo was able to return from a shot to his surgically repaired back. Oh, and all those second-guessers suggesting that Jason Garrett should have stuck with Brandon Weeden once Romo was ready to return … please." 5th (2nd): "The Cowboys were straight-up beat by the Redskins on Monday, and with Tony Romo's back barking, a drop is in order. Still shocked Scott Linehan did not call for a stretch play, draw, screen or anything to DeMarco Murray at the end when the team needed 3 yards."

M-Live: 6th (2nd): "Tony Romo is hurting and the Cowboys could fade quickly if left in the hands of Brandon Weeden."

Washington Post: 8th (3rd): "Tony Romo showed great toughness Monday night. But he and the Dallas offense looked completely clueless against the Redskins’ blitzes. Were the Cowboys exposed? The offense actually functioned better with backup QB Brandon Weeden in the game. But the Cowboys at least said Romo escaped with nothing more than a back contusion."

Snark-based rankings

ProFootballTalk: 3rd (1st): "Tony Romo says he’s fine. Which means that the announcement of season-ending surgery should be coming any minute now."

Stat-based rankings

Aikman Efficiency Ratings: 3rd (3rd): This metric combines seven stats into one number: yards per rush, yards per pass play, turnovers per game, first downs per game, third-down percentage, points per game (unit on field) and points per red zone possession.

Numberfire: 4th (3rd). 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 win by 5.2 points to such a league-average team. 9th (5th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Oddsshark: 9th (9th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Massey-Peabody: 10th (6th). 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. 11th (6th). 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.

Football Outsiders: 11th (7th). FO have the Cowboys with the 6th-ranked offense, the 19th-ranked defense and the 21st-ranked special teams.

ColdHardFootballFacts: 12th (8th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats. 15th (12th). "The Cowboys had their five-game winning streak snapped but the big concern is the health of Tony Romo. Dallas 6-2 ATS L8 vs. teams with a winning record. "

Sagarin NFL rankings: 15th (13th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.


The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams as well as the upcoming opponent. As usual, we'll update the remaining rankings once they're available.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Ari_medium
Week8 Week7 Week8 Week7 Week8 Week7 Week8 Week7 Week8
Pro Football Talk 3 1 4 4 23 23 24 27 2
ESPN 4 2 5 3 22 21 24 26 2
CBSSports 4 3 5 4 15 15 25 27 2
USA Today 5 2 4 4 23 23 24 27 2
SBNation 5 2 6 4 21 21 22 26 2
Newsday 5 2 7 6 23 20 22 27 2 5 2 4 3 21 20 22 25 2
Foxsports 5 3 3 2 19 18 25 28 2
Shutdown Corner 5 3 4 2 23 24 24 28 2
M-live 6 2 4 3 21 19 23 27 2
Avg.Opinion-based 4.7 2.2 4.6 3.5 21.1 20.4 23.5 26.8 2.0
Aikman Ratings 3 3 24 23 22 19 20 22 9
Numberfire 4 4 7 7 17 16 20 21 13
Team Rankings 9 5 5 2 17 15 20 24 2
Oddsshark 9 9 4 4 21 21 19 20 17
Massey Peabody 10 6 11 13 24 21 20 25 14
Whatifsports 11 6 8 10 21 17 24 24 4
Football Outsiders 11 7 6 6 21 22 23 24 18
Cold Hard Football Facts 12 8 18 14 21 21 22 23 17
Covers 15 12 10 10 19 21 24 26 7
Sagarin 15 13 7 5 20 21 24 26 8
Avg. Stat-based 9.9 7.3 10 9.4 20.3 19.4 21.6 23.5 10.9
Total 7.3 4.7 7.3 6.4 20.7 19.9 22.5 25.1 6.4

Good thing most opinion-based rankings are closely linked to the league standings. As such, the Cowboys drop much less than might have been expected after yesterday's performance.

Overall, published opinion still sees the Cowboys as a top 5 team, one bad game yesterday notwithstanding. Agree, disagree?

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