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NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Cowboys Have Bottomed Out, Or Have They?

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The Cowboys are nearing the bottom of the Power Rankings table, but that table has an important message.

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Who cares about power rankings when the Cowboys are 2-6? Not many people. So this week, we're turning things around.

As of now, these power ranking posts only pretend to be about power rankings. The Giants and Eagles are meandering through the mid teens, the Redskins are still in the twenties, and the Cowboys seem to have bottomed out. That's what you would think if you'd merely skim this post.

In reality, this post is about something else altogether. If you look closely at the table at the end of this post, you'll find a column that reveals what the consensus draft pick for the Cowboys would be next year if the season ended today.

Here's a look at the Dallas Cowboys and NFC East power rankings heading into Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season.

Opinion-based rankings

Shutdown Corner - No. 21 (21)

Running back Christine Michael didn't play a snap on Sunday. Yet, I'm sure when there's some shred of news this week like he took one snap in warm-ups with the starting offense in practice or whatever, he'll be written about on Twitter like he's Gale Sayers in 1965.

NFL.com - No. 22 (21)

While health clearly is an issue in Big D, the team's stunning inability to force turnovers cannot be overlooked. Tony Romo or no Tony Romo, no NFL team can win consistently with four takeaways in eight games.

ESPN - No. 23 (26)

The Cowboys have lost six in a row since losing Tony Romo. Before this season, the Cowboys' last six-game losing streak was in 1989, Troy Aikman's rookie season.

Newsday - No. 25 (21)

That's five straight losses without Tony Romo, who finally will resume practice this week after healing from a broken collarbone. He can't get back soon enough.

Foxsports - No. 26 (17)

With six straight losses, the Cowboys are searching for answers. After allowing just 103 rushing yards per game in 2014 (eighth-best in the NFL), the Cowboys are ranked 18th in rush defense.

Bleacher Report - No. 26 (22)

The Cowboys have now lost six straight games. The mountain they have to climb is a jagged one, with the hole likely far too deep for when quarterback Tony Romo is due to return in Week 11. Even in the muddled NFC East, leaping over three teams while making up 2.5 games in lost ground is an exceedingly tall order, especially with at least one more Romo-less game coming.

MLive.com - No. 27 (23).

Tony Romo's absence has led to the longest Cowboys' losing streak in the past quarter century.

USA Today - No. 27 (25)

Many are delighting in the Cowboys' ongoing demise.

Washington Post - No. 29 (24)

Tony Romo is eligible to return to the lineup later this month but the competitive portion of the Cowboys’ season very well might be over by then. It might be over now, in fact. The Cowboys certainly had their chances against the Eagles but again weren’t quite good enough.

Stat-based rankings

Oddsshark: No. 10 (9). Oddsshark use a multitude of stats to establish an offensive and defensive power ranking, which they then adjust for the strength of schedule.

FiveThirtyEight - No. 19 (14). Elo ratings are a simple system that estimates each team’s skill level using only the final scores and locations of each game.

Sagarin Ratings: No. 20 (19). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Coldhardfootballfacts - No. 22 (24). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.

Massey-Peabody - No. 22 (17). 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.

Numberfire - No. 24 (21) 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.

BeatGraphs.com: No. 26 (26). 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.

Teamrankings.com - No. 28 (24). 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 four NFC East teams as well as Sunday's opponent, the Buccaneers.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Tb_medium
This Week Draft Pick Last Week This Week Last Week This Week Last Week This Week Last Week This Week
Shutdown Corner 21 12 21 15 16 16 17 22 22 27
NFL.com 22 11 22 12 12 13 15 20 19 21
ESPN 23 10 26 16 18 15 14 26 24 25
Foxsports 26 7 17 15 20 11 15 24 18 21
Bleacher Report 26 7 22 15 17 10 13 19 19 27
M-live 27 6 23 15 16 12 15 22 20 23
USA Today 27 6 25 14 14 16 16 22 20 23
Newsday 28 5 25 9 14 15 16 23 19 18
Washington Post 29 4 27 12 18 10 14 23 17 26
Avg.Opinion-based 25.4 8 23.1 13.6 16.1 13.1 15 22.3 19.7 23.4
Oddsshark 10 23 9 8 11 16 16 28 27 29
FiveThirtyEight 19 14 14 9 10 12 13 28 28 30
Sagarin 20 13 19 9 9 15 15 25 24 32
Cold Hard Football Facts 22 11 24 13 16 17 17 27 22 18
Massey Peabody 22 11 17 14 13 16 16 24 26 27
Numberfire 24 9 21 10 10 18 18 16 17 28
Beatgraphs 27 6 26 17 18 7 13 13 13 15
Team Rankings 28 5 24 10 14 16 19 20 18 25
Avg. Stat-based 21.5 11 19.2 11.2 12.6 14.6 15.8 22.6 21.8 25.5
Total 23.5 9 21.2 12.5 14.4 13.8 15.4 22.4 20.7 24.4

The power rankings suggest the Cowboys would have the No. 9 pick if the season were to end today. That's slightly lower than their actual current draft spot.

If the season were to end today, the Cowboys would hold the No 7. overall spot behind the Jaguars (4), Titans (5), and Ravens (6), who all share a 2-6 record.