I live in a make-believe world where I trust that people who write power rankings either watched the game or took an in-depth look at the game stats beyond just the boxscore. So when somebody looks at the 28-17 finals score of the Cowboys game and concludes that the Cowboys defense sucked, then I have nothing but a few choice words that site decorum prohibits me from writing.
Be that as it may, today's power rankings turned into a race in the wrong direction. The three teams in the NFC East that are not overhyped find themselves in a race to figure out who is the worst team in the East. But before we go there, here's a summary of the often sobering, sometimes frustrating and occasionally blatantly wrong assessments of the 2014 Dallas Cowboys (after one week of the 2014 season).
|Major Media Networks & Affiliates
Week 2 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)
Foxsports: 27th (25th): "The offense moved the ball and the defense improved after making second-half adjustments, but once again careless turnovers decided another Cowboys game. With this defense, Tony Romo will need to get in sync with his weapons and simply outscore opponents on a weekly basis."
ESPN: 27h (23rd): "Tony Romo didn't throw a single interception on a play-action pass all last year. He threw three in the first half of Sunday's loss."
NFL.com: 28th (22nd). "Undoubtedly one of the worst Tony Romo games these eyes have seen. At least the Cowboys' defense made up for it by not covering Anquan Boldin -- like, ever. Romo appeared to be trying to push the game into a track meet, forcing plays that weren't there in anticipation that his defense would give up three billion yards and 30 points. (Why would he ever think that?) Of course, the Niners didn't need such prolific offense, as they were far more concerned with burning clock and going home. "
CBSSports.com (Prisco): 30th (24th): "It's going to be a long season in Dallas with that defense. Tony Romo didn't help matters with his three picks against the 49ers."
|Blogs & Other Media|
M-Live: 26th (20th): "The defense is predictably bad and this team can't win if Tony Romo is going to throw three interceptions."
SB Nation: 26th (21st): "The Cowboys turned the ball over four times in the first half -- a DeMarco Murray fumble and three terrible Tony Romo picks -- and against a tough team like the Niners, that's pretty much impossible to come back from. For its part, Dallas mostly limited what the Niners were trying to do in the second half, but it was way too little too late. The bright spot of Week 1 has got to be the Dallas run game, which produced 127 yards on 23 carries (5.5 YPC) against a team that was extremely good against the run last year. Tony Romo and the Cowboys will look to get back on track in Week 2."
ProFootballTalk: 27th (22nd): "All that talk about drafting Manziel has really helped get the most out of Tony Romo."
Newsday.com: 28th (26th). "Wasn’t Tony Romo was supposed to be the strength of this year’s team?"
Shutdown Corner: 28th (24th): "Not even sure why they're this high. Doesn't look like it'll get any better."
|Statistics, Computer & Vegas rankings|
Pro Football Reference: 14th (- -). PFRs Simple Rating System (SRS) takes only two factors into account: strength of schedule and adjusted margin of victory.
Sagarin NFL rankings: 23rd (- -). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Covers.com: 23th (27th). "The Cowboys actually outgained the 49ers but turnovers did them in. This is the second of six straight non-divisional games to open the season and they are 8-2 L10 as non-divisional dogs of more than two points."
Teamrankings.com: 23rd (25th). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.
Numberfire: 23rd (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.
Oddsshark: 26th (21st). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.
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.
|Wk 2||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 1||Week 2|
|Pro Football Talk||27||22||11||11||23||20||25||21||21|
|Pro Football Reference||14||- -||13||- -||25||- -||31||- -||16|
|Sagarin||23||- -||7||- -||20||- -||25||- -||26|