Here's a look at the Dallas Cowboys and NFC East power rankings heading into Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season.
Foxsports - No. 17 (21)
In just three games, Greg Hardy has three sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and 12 tackles. Since taking over as the lead back, Darren McFadden has 275 total yards in two games. Can the team find a way to generate a passing offense to help squeak out a couple wins before Tony Romo returns?
Shutdown Corner - No. 21 (18)
Two more games before Tony Romo can come back: vs. Philadelphia and at Tampa Bay. Realistically, they probably need to win one, right? If Romo comes back to a 2-7 team, can he really rally them for seven wins in a row? Probably not.
Bleacher Report - No. 22 (21)
The Cowboys continue to have perhaps the worst backup quarterback duo between Cassel and Brandon Weeden. Had Cassel been able to drive further downfield to convert even one of the Cowboys' four field goals into a touchdown Sunday, the team would have had a legitimate chance to hold on for the win.
NFL.com - No. 22 (21)
Well, here's the good news: The NFC East is wholly underwhelming. If you think 8-8 could be enough to take the division, then all is not lost quite yet. It'd sure be nice, though, if the Cowboys could at least win one of the next two games, handing the reins back to Romo with a 3-6 mark. Then it'd take five wins in Dallas' final seven games to reach .500. With Romo and the best defense in the division, that's not impossible.
MLive.com - No. 23 (22).
CBSSports (Prisco) - No. 24 (23)
This season is going down the toilet quickly without Tony Romo. Five consecutive losses puts them in a big hole.
Washington Post - No. 24 (19)
Tony Romo’s absence has reinforced that he truly is one of the league’s most indispensable players. Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel—it doesn’t really matter. It’s clear that the Cowboys simply cannot win without Romo.
USA Today - No. 25 (19)
WR Dez Bryant provided his usual fire in return from seven-week layoff. Unfortunately, this team could be made of matchsticks.
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.
ESPN - No. 26 (20)
The Cowboys have now lost seven straight games in which Tony Romo did not start. Up next are the Eagles, against whom Romo broke his clavicle in Week 2.
Oddsshark: No. 9 (10). 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. 14 (12). Elo ratings are a simple system that estimates each team’s skill level using only the final scores and locations of each game.
Massey-Peabody - No. 17 (19). 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.
Sagarin Ratings: No. 19 (15). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.
Numberfire - No. 21 (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.
Coldhardfootballfacts - No. 24 (21). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.
Teamrankings.com - No. 24 (19). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.
BeatGraphs.com: No. 26 (16). 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.
The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams.
|Wk 9||Wk 8||Wk 9||Wk 8||Wk 9||Wk 8||Wk 9||Wk 8|
|Cold Hard Football Facts||24||21||16||13||17||15||22||23|