NFL power rankings are like draft grades and mock drafts: They really don't mean anything. They are the pro football equivalent of poll rankings, and just like the college polls issued before any games are played, they are nothing more than guesswork and, in some cases, a reflection of prejudices about teams. USA Today put one out earlier this week. These should always be taken with a grain of salt, but when you are a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, you may need more like a truckload of Morton's when you get a load of this one.
18. Lotta risks to upgrade roster (Greg Hardy a bust already?). And Dallas may yet lose its biggest gamble: Letting DeMarco Murray walk.
Eighteen? EIGHTEEN? In a list that has the Philadelphia Eagles at eight? Are you kidding me?
I will never deny that I wear a very thick pair of silver and blue glasses, and that I can guzzle the blue Kool Aid with the best of them, but this is completely, totally ridiculous. Judging from the comment, they place tremendous weight on Murray's departure (and apparently his arrival in Philly to be used by the looming genius that is Chip "Best Coach Ever" Kelly). It clearly discounts those five road graders up front, who just got a nice, shiny new bulldozer added in La'el Collins. It doesn't care that Tony Romo is coming off the best season of his career in the best health in years. It sneers at the addition of Byron Jones and Randy Gregory to the defense. It disregards the return of Sean Lee and the upwardly trending trajectory of DeMarcus Lawrence. It apparently attached no significance to the great continuity on the coaching staff and that NFL Executive of the Year earned for Jerry Jones by his staff. And it is totally ignorant of the secret weapon that is Ben Gardner.
Okay, let me reel that last one in just a tad. But how can you put that much weight on the loss of one player, who arguably had the season of his career - and carried the ball a ton of times. Add in Murray's age, and there are plenty of historical trends that indicate that his performance is almost certain to tail off this year. And to be ranked that far behind those Eagles, who made some absolutely mystifying moves during the offseason and did not impress many with their draft, is absolutely dumbfounding. Did they not notice how Dallas won the NFC East with a cast that is largely intact this year, with a lot of upgrades where it needed them on defense?
Homerism? Yes, but you can be a homer and rational at the same time. I absolutely understand nothing about this ranking. And no matter how little I think it means, it still . . . irritates me greatly. Here is all I have to say to the "analysts" who came up with this:
Shirley, it is time to knock off the hating and get real.