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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: ESPN Keeps Cowboys At #1 In Power Rankings

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ESPN kept the Cowboys at the top of their Power Rankings, but did the other power rankings follow suit? Find out in our summary of this week's power rankings for the Cowboys and the NFC East.

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's power rankings panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) kept the Cowboys at the No. 1 spot on their weekly rankings.

That makes is six weeks that the Cowboys have spent at the top of ESPN's rankings so far this season. Are the other power rankings going to follow suit after the spanking of the Lions on Monday Night Football?

Find out in this week's summary of power rankings.

Power Rankings

Week 17 Rankings (previous rankings in parenthesis)

ESPN - No. 1 (1)

Remember when Dak Prescott lost to the Giants in Week 14 and some were calling for Tony Romo to start again? Well, Prescott is 47-of-56 (83.9 percent) passing with three pass touchdowns and one rush touchdown in two games since. With the top spot in the NFC wrapped up, the question is, will Prescott (and Ezekiel Elliott) rest in Week 17 against the Eagles?

Shutdown Corner - No. 1 (1)

We need to start taking defensive end David Irving seriously as a possible difference maker in the playoffs. Irving, who had an NFC defensive player of the week performance against Green Bay earlier this season, has three sacks in two games. He could make a play or two that could swing a game next month.

FOX Sports - No. 2 (2)

Dez Bryant is back, Dak Prescott is still rolling and the Cowboys were able to rest Ezekiel Elliott for most of the game due to their 21-point margin of victory. All is well in Dallas right now, and barring an injury, the Cowboys will be the NFC favorites going into the playoffs.

CBS Sports - No. 2 (2)

They kept it rolling against the Lions. But now they have to take it easy at Philadelphia in a road game that means nothing.

NFL.com: No. 2 (2)

Despite the fact that I'd watched nearly every play from the Cowboys' first 14 games, the 28 unanswered points Monday night qualified as shocking. Not just because the offense was moving at ease, either. Talk about an about face from the defense. After allowing the Lions three touchdowns on the first three drives, Rod Marinelli's unit adjusted, then held, then created a takeaway that altered the course of the game. Jon Gruden did a heckuva job breaking down Rod Marinelli doing a heckuva job going to a 32 defense, too. On to other matters ... How many of you Cowboys fans got a not-so-slight scare watching the replay of the hit on Tyron Smith's knee?

Bleacher Report - No. 2 (2)

Dallas’ late-season struggles lasted all of about 30 seconds. The Cowboys are the clear-cut NFC favorites. It’d take as complete a game as we’ve seen to upend their Super Bowl aspirations this January. Dak Prescott is the key once again. He followed up last weekend’s super-accurate performance with—you guessed it—another super-accurate and surgical night against Detroit. It’s hard to out-quarterbackMatthew Stafford; Prescott did. Then he handed off to Ezekiel Elliott for the usual long score. If Zeke played a full game, Dallas would’ve won by 30 points in Week 16.

USA Today - No. 2 (2)

Does Tony Romo get onto the field in Week 17? Or does Dak Prescott earn shot at 14th win, which would set NFL rookie and franchise records?

New York Daily News - No. 2 (2)

Can Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott lead America’s Team to the Promised Land? Imagine the ratings for a Patriots-Cowboys Super Bowl.

Washington Post - No. 2 (2)

Coach Jason Garrett kept his key players in the lineup Monday night even with the NFC’s No. 1 seed already clinched. The Cowboys rolled to an impressive victory over the Lions as the offense clicked, with one TD coming on a left-handed pass by WR Dez Bryant on a brilliant trick play, and the defense improved following a shaky beginning. But the risks were apparent as QB Dak Prescott took a few significant hits and left tackle Tyron Smith exited with a seemingly minor knee issue.

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The table below summarizes the power rankings for the NFC East teams and the Cowboys' opponent on Sunday, the Lions.

Dal_medium Nyg_medium Was_medium Phi_medium
Wk 17 Wk 17 Wk 17 Wk 17
ESPN 1 9 13 23
Shutdown Corner 1 8 14 24
FoxSports 2 9 13 24
CBS 2 9 17 26
NFL.com 2 9 12 23
B/R 2 8 12 24
USA Today 2 8 14 24
SB Nation 2 7 12 20
Washington Post 2 9 13 20
NY Daily News 2 10 13 - -
Average 1.8 8.6 13.3 23.1