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NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Cowboys Remain The League’s Best Team

A quick review of the latest power rankings, where they rank the Cowboys, and where they rank the the current NFC playoff teams.

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday's win means the Cowboys maintained their two-win lead in the NFC playoff race. If the season were to end today, the Cowboys would be in the playoffs as the No. 1 NFC seed, and would have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

And even though there are six games left to play, today we'll take a look at the playoff picture via the various power rankings out there to understand which NFC playoff contenders are the flavor of the week, and which aren't.

In the table at the bottom of this post you'll see where the six current NFC playoff teams rank, and for good measure we'll include the Eagles as the seventh team. We include the Eagles because just like in any bad movie, they're not really dead until somebody drives a stake through their heart.

Here's the summary of this week's power rankings for the Cowboys.

Power Rankings

Week 12 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)

FOX Sports - No. 1 (1)

The Cowboys remain the league’s best team after dominating the Ravens’ top-ranked defense. Baltimore's defense proved to be a slight challenge for Ezekiel Elliott, but Dak Prescott shredded the secondary, which was without Jimmy Smith. With Prescott and Dez Bryant seemingly getting on the same page, this offense could get even better. The defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough to take the Cowboys deep into the playoffs. They’re 13th in yards allowed and tied for fifth in scoring, which is mostly the result of the offense holding the ball.

CBS - No. 1 (1)

Dak Prescott showed against the Ravens that his staying as the starter was the right move. This team is riding high. No. 1 (1)

Cowboys fans love Dak Prescott, but even they'll tell you he is starting slowly, missing throws early and so on. Yet, Dallas is recovering -- not only because Prescott does, but because the offensive line continues to impose its will on dog-tired front sevens in the second half. In a football sense, it's an awesome thing to watch. Ezekiel Elliott runs even harder, while Prescott has all day (he wasn't touched in the second half on Sunday) to find Jason Witten or Cole Beasley or ... well, you just can't hold 88 down too long, can ya?

Shutdown Corner - No. 1 (1)

Robert Griffin III holds the rookie record for passer rating, with a 102.4 in 2011. Dak Prescott’s rating is 108.6. If that stands it would be the 23rd best mark in NFL history, and obviously the best for a rookie.

USA Today - No. 1 (1)

They've surpassed 400 yards eight games in a row, a feat matching perhaps the two greatest offenses of all time (2007 Patriots, 2013 Broncos).

Washington Post - No. 1 (1)

If Dak Prescott was the least bit bothered by having Tony Romo back on the game-day active list as the backup QB, it didn’t show. Prescott was brilliant Sunday against the Ravens. The Cowboys are the best team in a surprisingly powerful division and remain the front-runner to be the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

ESPN - No. 1 (1)

The Cowboys enter their Thanksgiving game riding the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history. Give thanks to Dak Prescott, who has completed an NFL-best 78.8 percent of his passes in the fourth quarter and overtime since Week 2, including completions on 24 of his past 26 attempts.

Bleacher Report - No. 2 (2)

Anyone who claims Dallas’ rookie quarterback is just a product of his offensive line needs to look at this game.

Sure, Dak Prescott had time aplenty to throw against Baltimore. He also had large human beings hot on his trail and/or jumping his throws. Prescott showed the necessary patience to hit on almost every one.

Some of those throws went to Dez Bryant. My guess is that a few more will next week; Dallas’ star wideout is playing with the post-injury swagger that makes "Big D" a force in the league.

This could’ve been a huge letdown week for the Cowboys. Everyone jumped on their bandwagon after the Steelers win. To keep all that momentum going is impressive.

New York Daily News - No. 2 (2)

America's Team has won an in-season franchise-record nine in a row behind rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. They'll have to successfully navigate through a treacherous three-games-in-12-day stretch before I crown them. A turkey day matchup against Washington awaits.


The table below summarizes the power rankings for the teams currently qualified for the playoffs, plus the Eagles.

Dal_medium Sea_medium Det_medium Atl_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Phi_medium
Wk12 Wk12 Wk12 Wk12 Wk12 Wk12 Wk12
FoxSports 1 2 8 6 7 9 14
CBS 1 5 9 7 6 10 17 1 2 8 11 5 9 14
Shutdown Corner 1 3 9 8 10 7 15
USA Today 1 2 8 4 10 9 16
ESPN 1 2 10 8 6 9 15
Washington Post 1 2 7 11 6 9 19
SB Nation 1 2 15 6 5 7 12
B/R 2 4 12 9 5 7 13
NY Daily News 2 1 9 11 5 8 - -
Average 1.2 2.5 9.5 8.1 6.5 8.4 15.0

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