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NFL Power Rankings Week 12: "Dangerous Cowboys Rested Up In Bye Week."

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A review of the latest Power Rankings published today, wirth a special focus on the NFC playoff contenders.

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If the season were to end today, the Cowboys would be the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. While the Cowboys enjoyed their bye week, the remaining five playoff teams all had to play: The Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles lost their games, the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers won theirs, while the Atlanta Falcons lucked into first place in the NFC South with a 4-6 record.

How did all those results affect the Dallas Cowboys? Find out in in our summary of where today's power rankings slot the Cowboys and how this compares to the remaining field of NFC playoff contenders.

Opinion-based rankings: Cowboys move up or stay put

Week 12 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)

CBSSports (Prisco): 4th (5th): "The bye had to be good for Tony Romo's back. Now they will have him healthy for a stretch run."

Foxsports.com: 4th (5th): "Coming out of the bye week, the Cowboys will hope to get impact defenders Rolando McClain and Tyrone Crawford back for the stretch run. Along with that, they should move forward with the same blueprint that they’ve put out there."

ProFootballTalk: 4th (6th): "It’s Six Games to Glory for the Cowboys, who emerge from the bye week to face the Giants and Eagles four days apart."

NFL.com: 5th (5th): "A bye week for Dallas brought plenty of talk about the contract situation of Dez Bryant, who is in the final year of his rookie deal. More interesting to me is the affordable pact the Cowboys made with Henry Melton this past spring. If you add sacks, quarterback hits, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions and tackles for loss together and divide that total -- which can basically be labled "disruptive plays" -- by the total number of plays, Melton was the seventh-most-impactful defensive player in the NFL heading into Week 11, one spot above slightly-less-affordable former Cowboy DeMarcus Ware. "

USA Today: 6th (7th): "Wouldn't it be kinda fun for the rest of us if Jerry Jones tested free agent-to-be Dez Bryant's loyalty? Just a little?"

CBSSportss (Kirwan): 6th (7th): "The Cowboys had a bye Sunday and there were grumblings about Dez Bryant's deal -- never good for team focus with the playoffs in sight. Dallas runs it well, Tony Romo is healthy and the defense hustles. The schedule isn't easy with two left vs. the NFC East-leading Eagles (Nov. 17 at home, Dec. 15 at Philly). Next: The Giants on SNF."

ESPN: 6th (8th): "Facing Eli Manning is a welcome return from the bye week for the Cowboys' defense, which has a takeaway in nine straight games since Week 1."

Bleacher Report: 7th (7th): "With Dallas off and Philadelphia losing to the Packers, the Cowboys are now tied at 7-3 with the NFC East leaders. The two teams get a chance to face off in Weeks 13 and 15 in contests that will decide the division and finally settle the score in the comments section to determine which team deserves to be ranked higher."

Newsday: 7th (7th): "Cowboys’ bye weekend went as well as they could have imagined. Not only did they get some much-needed rest and relaxation, but all three NFC East teams lost."

SB Nation: 8th (9th): "Meanwhile, the dangerous Cowboys and Ravens rested up on bye weeks, readying for the final push to the Playoffs."

Washington Post: 8th (11th): "The bye week was kind to the Cowboys, as every other NFC East team lost. QB Tony Romo had time to rest his back. The NFC East co-leaders return to play a Sunday night game against the reeling Giants at the Meadowlands."

SI.com (Peter King): 9th (9h): "No body parts needed a bye more than the two small bones in Tony Romo’s back that are fractured. They’ll get a workout next week: Dallas has the unenviable task of playing a Sunday night roadie (at the Giants) and a Thursday afternoon home game (Thanksgiving, against the Eagles)."

M-Live: 9th (9th): "Bye"

Opinion-based rankings: Cowboys move down

Bleeding Green Nation: 8th (6th): "The Cowboys enjoyed their bye week by watching all three of their NFC East rivals lose on Sunday. Despite this, however, Dallas still remains second in the NFC East."

Shutdown Corner: 8th (7th): "They still have four road games left, but the good news is that three come against bad teams (Giants, Bears, Redskins)."

Stat-based rankings

Aikman Efficiency Ratings: 7th (10th): 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.

Massey-Peabody: 9th (10th). 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.

Oddsshark: 9th (10). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

Numberfire: 9th (12th). 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 3.8 points against such a league-average team.

Beatgraphs: 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.

WhatIfSports.com: 12th (10th). 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.

ColdHardFootballFacts: 13th (14th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.

Football Outsiders: 13th (14th). FO have the Cowboys with the 8th-ranked offense, the 21st-ranked defense and the 21st-ranked special teams.

Sagarin NFL rankings: 14th (14th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Teamrankings.com: 15th (14th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Star_medium

The table below summarizes the power rankings for the NFC playoff contenders minus the ridiculousness that is the NFC South division leader. The teams are sorted by where they stand in the current playoff seedings, not by where they are slotted according to the power rankings. As usual, we'll update the data as it becomes available.

Ari_medium Det_medium Phi_medium Gb_medium Dal_medium Sf_medium Sea_medium
Record and playoff seed 9-1 (1st) 7-3 (2nd) 7-3 (3rd) 7-3 (5th) 7-3 (6th) 6-4 6-4
Foxsports 2 7 9 3 4 13 11
CBSSports 1 8 6 3 4 11 10
Pro Football Talk 1 7 5 3 4 14 13
NFL.com 2 8 7 3 5 13 10
ESPN 2 7 8 3 6 10 11
USA Today 2 8 7 3 6 9 11
Newsday 2 6 8 3 7 10 13
M-live 1 6 7 3 8 13 12
SBNation 1 6 7 3 8 14 13
Shutdown Corner 3 10 5 2 8 13 9
Avg.Opinion-based 1.7 7.3 6.9 2.9 6.0 12.0 11.3
Aikman Ratings 6 11 21 2 7 18 9
Numberfire 5 7 13 2 9 16 10
Massey Peabody 20 14 12 2 9 11 8
Oddsshark 10 13 8 2 9 18 11
Beatgraphs 3 5 8 6 11 4 20
Whatifsports 3 6 8 2 12 14 11
Cold Hard Football Facts 8 11 18 2 13 12 7
Football Outsiders 15 9 8 2 13 11 7
Sagarin 4 13 8 5 14 10 11
Team Rankings 2 9 8 4 15 7 11
Avg. Stat-based 7.6 9.8 11.2 2.9 11.2 12.1 10.5
Total 4.6 8.5 9.0 2.9 8.6 12 10.9