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NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Kerplunk! Cowboys Drop Out Of Top Ten

A look at 17 different power rankings for the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East.

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Power Rankings are so much more enjoyable when your team won the last game. Well, the Cowboys didn't, so it's a good time to remind ourselves that power rankings don't mean diddly-squat after a loss.

Last week, the Cowboys were ranked 7th in the league on average. This week, they drop out of the top ten to 11th, but that's still better than the rest of the NFC East teams. Not that that's much comfort though it is nice to see the GiantsEagles and Redskins all ranked below the Cowboys.

Here's a look at the Dallas Cowboys and NFC East power rankings heading into week three of the 2013 NFL season.

Opinion-based rankings

Week 4 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)

CBSSports.com - No. 9 (3)

They have had too many injuries to overcome. Not just Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, either. The defensive line was a mess against the Falcons.

Newsday - No. 10 (9)

Who knew it would be the Cowboys' defense that would collapse after Tony Romo got hurt? Awful showing in a second-half rout against the Falcons at home.

ESPN - No. 11 (12)

Brandon Weeden set a Cowboys record Sunday after completing his 21st consecutive pass (dating to last year). However, he extended his personal losing streak to nine straight starts.

FOX Sports - No. 11 (5)

After an exceptional first half with Joseph Randle, the bad Brandon Weeden reared his ugly head in the loss to Atlanta. The defense will have to carry the team -- something it is certainly capable of -- but this is an inconsistent blueprint for weekly success.

MLive.com - No. 11 (6)

Brandon Weeden looked surprisingly capable in place of Tony Romo, but the Dallas defense had no answer for the Falcons' play-making tandem of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman.

Shutdown Corner - No. 12 (7)

According to Pro Football Focus, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 21 of Brandon Weeden's 26 passes didn't travel more than 9 yards downfield. And you have an idea why Weeden washed out as a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns.

Washington Post - No. 12 (8)

Brandon Weeden, filling in at QB for the injured Tony Romo, threw the ball accurately Sunday and RB Joseph Randle got off to a very fast start against the Falcons. But the defense must lead the way while Romo is sidelined with his broken left collarbone, and it failed miserably in that regard in the loss to Atlanta.

CBSSports.com (Kirwan) - No. 13 (6)

This team is just piecing it together right now. Brandon Weeden looked good early, but couldn't finish the job, and we could see Matt Cassel before long. But no matter which one plays, you have to run the ball more than 21 times when you have that offensive line and you're playing without your starting QB.

Bleacher Report - No. 13 (6)

The Cowboys were outscored 22-0 in the second half of a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. They were unable to answer Atlanta's offensive fireworks centered around the dominance of Julio Jones, their stud receiver. That could become the Cowboys' typical fate until Romo and Bryant return.

NFL.com - No. 13 (8)

By the way, what happened to the Cowboys' vaunted running game in the second half (see: -5 yards)? Speaking of running games ... Hello, Devonta Freeman! The Cowboys' defense hasn't been chewed up by an RB with such a low profile since Duce Staley dropped two bills at Texas Stadium back in Y2K.

USA Today - No. 13 (17)

We would've thought 28 points and a nearly mistake-free performance by QB Brandon Weeden would've been enough to get Dallas to 3-0.

Stat-based rankings

Oddsshark: No. 7 (6). 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. 8 (5). 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. 9 (5). These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Teamrankings.com - No. 9 (8). This site measures the relative strength of all teams using team performance, home/away status, margin of victory and other factors.

Coldhardfootballfacts - No. 12 (6). This indicator ranks teams based on their average ranking across a range of CHFF's Quality Stats.

Numberfire - No. 13 (7) 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.

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The table below summarizes the power rankings for the four NFC East teams as well as the Cowboys' next opponent, the New Orleans Saints.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium No_medium
Wk 4 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 3 Wk 4
CBS (Prisco) 9 3 16 20 15 18 29 26 31
Newsday 10 9 17 21 18 29 23 24 31
Foxsports 11 5 15 22 16 24 26 20 31
ESPN 11 12 17 22 16 26 27 23 31
M-live 11 6 18 23 19 21 24 20 31
Shutdown Corner 12 7 17 18 26 26 27 27 31
Washington Post 12 8 14 19 18 26 24 23 31
Bleacher Report 13 6 14 14 19 24 29 27 26
CBS (Kirwan) 13 6 24 29 18 27 19 15 30
USA Today 13 17 20 22 18 25 26 19 30
NFL.com 15 13 20 28 19 27 21 20 31
Avg.Opinion-based 11.8 8.3 17.4 21.6 18.3 24.8 25 22.1 30.3
Oddsshark 7 6 21 14 11 15 32 29 24
FiveThirtyEight 8 5 12 16 22 24 29 28 25
Sagarin 9 5 11 16 16 20 27 25 25
Team Rankings 9 8 12 25 18 17 28 26 30
Cold Hard Football Facts 12 6 17 24 14 19 20 6 25
Numberfire 13 7 12 14 18 22 23 25 22
Avg. Stat-based 9.6 7.4 14.1 21.8 16.5 23.4 26.5 27.8 25.1
Total 11.0 7.5 16.2 20.4 17.7 22.9 25.5 22.5 28.5