This week's power rankings see the Cowboys as a Top 5 team. For the most part.
Week 17 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)
SB Nation: 3rd (7th): "Meanwhile, the Cowboys clinched the NFC East title by trouncing the listless Colts, 42-7. Dallas stuck to the balanced formula that has gotten them to where they are today, running for 127 yards and a touchdown while getting big explosive plays from Tony Romo and Dez Bryant in the passing game. "
Foxsports.com: 4th (5th): "Tony Romo is quietly leading the NFL in yards per attempt, total QBR and several other efficiency areas. We’ve seen what happens to this Cowboys team without him, and now it’s time that everyone starts to seriously consider him as the league’s MVP."
NFL.com: 4th (5th): "So where are all those fans who wanted Dallas to take Johnny Manziel right about now? At "Twin Peaks," watching Midwestern State take on West Texas A&M? Very quietly, Tony Romo has entered the MVP discussion; and if you ask me, you can't merely attribute it to DeMarco Murray's rise to stardom. No, it has something to do with 77, 65, 72, 70 and 68 up front. Still uncomfortable giving the quarterback his due, Romo haters? Then how about splitting the award five ways?"
Shutdown Corner: 4th (5th): "DeMarco Murray, who has a broken hand and an amazing 427 touches in 15 games, got eight carries after the Cowboys took a 28-0 lead. Only once in NFL regular-season history has a team come back from 28 points down to win. Why is Jason Garrett trying to run Murray into the ground?"
Newsday: 4th (5th): "Finally, a divisional title for the Cowboys, as Tony Romo puts an exclamation point on a terrific regular season run and gets into the MVP conversation. "
CBSSports (Prisco): 4th (6th): "Don't sleep on this team. They are clearly a Super Bowl contender. Tony Romo has silenced a lot of critics."
ESPN: 4th (6th): "Tony Romo is Dallas' all-time leader in passing yards and has the best Total QBR in the league. Is this the Cowboys' year? Or are they in prime position for heartbreak?"
Bleacher Report: 4th (6th): "Good luck stopping the Dallas Cowboys right now. With the NFC East clinched, the Cowboys will have a home playoff game and currently feature an offense no one can stop. With three straight wins and four of their last five, the Cowboys are red hot and one of the more consistent teams in the league as the season ends."
Washington Post: 4th (6th): "The Cowboys made certain there wouldn’t be a Week 17 disappointment this time around by wrapping up the NFC East title a week early. They have a lot going for them entering the postseason. The defense shut down Andrew Luck and the Colts. Tony Romo is playing as well as any QB in the league right now and the offensive line remains formidable. But RB DeMarco Murray wasn’t all that productive against Indianapolis as he played six days after undergoing surgery for a fractured left hand. Murray’s toughness and dedication cannot be questioned. But his ability to play effectively with the injury remains an issue going forward."
M-Live: 4th (7th): "In a meeting of two explosive offensives, the Cowboys outclassed the Cots. Tony Romo was nearly flawless in the win, bolstering his MVP candidacy."
USA Today: 5th (5th): "What's the smarter play - ride DeMarco Murray hard and pray for a first-round bye, or give him a week off with division wrapped up?"
SI.com (Peter King): 5th (6th): "Average score in the Cowboys’ three-game win streak: Dallas 40, Foes 20. Most impressive for Dallas on Sunday was the defensive performance, stifling Andrew Luck to the point where the Colts had to pull Luck for his own good."
CBSSports (Kirwan): 5h (6th): "The Cowboys are back! They run the ball, Tony Romo is an efficient passer, the offensive line is as good as it gets in the NFL and the defense overachieves because of good coaching."
Bleeding Green Nation: 6th (8th): "Dallas completely shut down a Colts team that didn't have much to play for. The Cowboys picked up the NFC East crown in the process."
|Bonus Trolling Section
Peter King - Chip Kelly Wisdom of the Week: "This column section is being retired, mercifully, after the Eagles, who controlled the NFC East 15 mornings ago, lost their third straight game, committed 13 penalties, and had their 34th and 35th turnovers of the year. Not saying Kelly has lost his touch, or his football brain. But his team is just too careless. The Eagles have had two fumble-free games all season. They’ve had 197 penalty yards marked off in the two biggest games of the year the last two weeks."
Shutdown Corner: "In 14 days, the Eagles lost three games and went from first place to out of the playoffs. Priority No. 1 in the offseason has to be finding better cornerbacks. Or maybe getting a better pass rush."
Pete Prisco: "So much for Chip Kelly's revolutionary ways changing the league."
Massey-Peabody: 5th (7th). 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.
Teamrankings.com: 5th (12th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.
Aikman Efficiency Ratings: 6th (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.
WhatIfSports.com: 6th (11th). 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.
Sagarin NFL rankings: 6th (12th). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Football Outsiders: 6th (13th). FO have the Cowboys with the 5th-ranked offense, the 23rd-ranked defense and the 12th-ranked special teams.
Oddsshark: 7th (14th). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.
OverTheCap.com: 7th (14th). OTC use a combination of offensive and defensive efficiency to calcuate projected wins.
ColdHardFootballFacts: 8th (13th). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.
Numberfire: 8th (14th). 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.
The table below summarizes the power rankings for five NFC playoff participants and one former contender. As usual, we'll update the missing rankings as they become available.
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