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NFL Power Rankings Week 6: The Cowboys Are A Top Ten Team?!

In this week's summary of NFL power rankings, we look at how far the Cowboys rise after the win over the Texans, take a look at where the other NFC East teams are ranked, and check out where the Seahawks come in on the various power rankings published today.

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Matthew Emmons-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 rest of the NFC East and the Seahawks.

The Cowboys are a Top Ten team and correctly ranked ahead of the Eagles

Week 6 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis) (Peter King): 4th (11th): "All those who had the Cowboys on a four-game winning streak after losing their opener, raise your hands. Okay, the two of you out there in Abilene with hands raised, just stop. You’re lying."

CBSSports (Kirwan): 4th (16th): "Now the Cowboys are 15-5 when DeMarco Murray rushes for at least 80 yards. Dez Bryant came alive last week and it looks like scoring points will not be a problem. The defense is really overachieving and it may be hard to sustain, especially in the Cowboys' next game in Seattle."

Washington Post: 6th (10th): "How long will this prosperity last? Few would have expected a 4-1 start but the Cowboys are sticking to their formula of playing better-than-expected defense, running DeMarco Murray behind an outstanding offensive line and getting contributions from QB Tony Romo when needed. One issue now becomes whether Murray’s heavy workload will wear him down as the season progresses. Things get serious from here, with a game at Seattle this weekend followed by NFC East clashes at home against the Giants and Redskins."

SB Nation: 7th (11th): "After that embarrassing loss to start the season, the Dallas Cowboys have made an improbable run inside the top 10 of our power rankings."

The Cowboys are a Top Ten team but incorrectly ranked behind the Eagles 6th (10th): "Elias says DeMarco Murray has joined one heck of a list. Murray, O.J. Simpson and Jim Brown are the only players to open a season with five straight 100-yard rushing games."

USA Today: 7th (9th): "The real gift of rushing leader DeMarco Murray? He and Dallas are moving the chains with a league-best 56% third-down success rate."

Bleacher Report: 7th (10th): "OK. Time to admit it. The Dallas Cowboys are for real. A victory over the Houston Texans isn't a season-defining win or anything, but the way in which the Cowboys keep winning games proves that they're a legitimate contender. The Cowboys were not a trendy preseason pick, but right now they're playing as well as any team in the league."

Foxsports: 7th (13th): "Once again, the Cowboys controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and made plays on defense at key moments of the game. This blueprint puts them right in the thick of things in the NFC East."

CBSSports (Prisco): 7th (10th): "At 4-1, they are one of the major surprises of the season. Who saw this coming?"

Penn Live: 8th (11th): "It is DeMarco Murray -- not Tony Dorsett and not even Emmitt Smith -- who, after another 136 yards in a win against Houston, holds the Cowboys all-time mark with five consecutive 100-yard games. The Pokes showed something else last week that has been absent in recent seasons: a will to win."

Shutdown Corner: 9th (10th): "Given the degree of difficulty and the game situation, Dez Bryant's overtime catch might end up being the NFL's catch of the year."

M-Live: 9th (11th): "Normally you don't win games where you give up 150 yards to the opposing running back and finish -2 in the turnover battle, but Dallas found a way to get it done against the Texans."

Bleeding Green Nation: 9th (11th): "Four straight wins for the Cowboys. If only they had a home field advantage. Dallas faces a tough test in Week 6 with a road game against the Seahawks."

ProFootballTalk: 9th (13th): "Based on the numbers of Texans fans at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, America’s Team apparently is no longer Dallas’s."

Newsday: 10th (13th): "The surprise team of the year so far. Tony Romo with more heroics in overtime as his 37-yard completion to Dez Bryant sets up Dan Bailey’s winning field goal."

Yeah, right. 12th (12th): "Somebody drive down Greenville, or go to the snobby Uptown area (which was Nowheresville in 1997), and hand out Cowboys tickets. Seriously, can some Dallas-based celebrity do this? Maybe somebody like, oh, Jerry Jones? As mesmerizing of a home as Jones built, the 'Boys have absolutely no home-field advantage."

Stat-based rankings

Aikman Efficiency Ratings: 6th (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.

ColdHardFootballFacts: 7th (8th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats. 7th (10th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors. 9th (9th). These rankings are based on an ELO rating system. 11th (19th). 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. Here#s what their graph looks like this week:

Beatgraphs Wk 5 14th (16th). "Dallas escaped overtime against Houston and a game at Seattle could tell if this team is for real. 0-7-1 ATS L8 games vs. .667 or better conference opponents."

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

Oddsshark: 15th (15th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Numberfire: 15th (17th). 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.

Pro Football Reference: 16th (13th). PFRs Simple Rating System (SRS) takes only two factors into account: strength of schedule and adjusted margin of victory.


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

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Sea_medium
Wk 6 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 5 Week 6
ESPN 6 10 4 6 13 19 26 27 1
USA Today 7 9 5 6 16 21 26 27 1 7 10 6 7 11 16 29 29 1
SBNation 7 11 8 9 14 20 28 28 1
Foxsports 7 13 6 10 14 15 28 29 2
Shutdown Corner 9 10 5 5 20 23 29 30 1
M-live 9 11 5 7 14 18 27 29 1
Pro Football Talk 9 13 5 6 19 25 29 29 1
Newsday 10 13 6 6 12 14 26 21 1 12 12 6 6 13 13 27 27 2
Avg.Opinion-based 8.3 11.2 5.6 6.8 14.6 18.4 27.5 27.6 1.2
Aikman Ratings 6 3 28 26 9 11 21 16 4
Cold Hard Football Facts 7 8 21 19 8 9 25 22 4
Team Rankings 7 10 8 12 9 8 27 29 3 9 9 10 11 17 18 30 30 1
Beatgraphs 11 19 12 18 15 8 24 23 8 14 16 15 13 16 17 27 27 1
Sagarin 15 15 13 12 16 17 27 27 1
Oddsshark 15 15 8 8 20 22 26 28 2
Numberfire 15 17 13 4 11 15 23 24 2
Pro Football Reference 16 13 18 17 11 8 22 26 2
Avg. Stat-based 11.5 12.5 14.6 14 13.2 13.3 25.2 25.2 2.8
Total 9.9 11.8 10.1 10.4 13.9 15.8 26.3 26.4 2

Once again, the stat-based rankings lag behind the opinion-based rankings this week. What's your take, are the Cowboys a top ten team like most of the opinion rankings suggest, or are they just a little above average, as the stat-based rankings suggest?

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