You can feel the excitement of the approaching new season. You’ve done your homework. You've read every training camp report. You've built countless permutations of the 53-man roster. You’ve scoured the internet for players on the waiver wire and you've followed the roster cuts like it was the real NFL Draft. There's only one question left to answer:
How good or bad are the 2016 Cowboys?
Nobody really knows, especially not with the Cowboys' QB situation, but there's an elite among the football cognoscenti who can answer that question without so much as blinking an eye, and they can even put a number to it: The people regularly publishing NFL power rankings would like us to believe that they know exactly how good the Cowboys are. So let's take our first look of the season 10 power rankings and where they see the Cowboys.
Foxsports (Silva): 12th: "No Tony Romo? Slight problem. Unlike in years past, the Cowboys have a viable backup in Dak Prescott. He, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant can combine to keep the offense going until Romo returns, which could be as soon as Week 7 or as late as Week 10. It’s unclear as of now, but the Cowboys are certain he’ll play this season. If he does, Dallas can take advantage of a mediocre division with no clear front-runner."
Cheat Sheet: 14th: "The Cowboys will enter the season with a rookie fourth-round pick (Dak Prescott) as their starting quarterback until Tony Romo returns from his latest serious back injury. While Prescott was nothing short of outstanding during the preseason, he still must prove he can shine when the games matter. Regardless, Dallas should have one of the premier rushing attacks in the NFL, and their defense will likely be quite mediocre. When it comes down to it, the Cowboys will be one of the better teams in the NFC is Prescott plays well. If not, they will likely end up with a top-10 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft."
Bleacher Report (Simms): 14th: "Even with Dak? Even with Dak. The game isn’t too big for the kid. The fact he was forced into action (in Seattle of all places) and acted like a veteran tells me all I need to know. Dude is the next Steve McNair. He won’t be asked to do too much with Ezekiel Elliott behind him and that line in front of him. Dallas shouldn’t be slighted because of Tony Romo’s injury. I'm a believer the Cowboys can still be dangerous with Dak under center. Their defense, despite injuries and suspensions, can be middle-of-the-pack good. That’s all they might need to be."
Boston Herald: 15th: "Rookie Dak Prescott has to be better than the assortment of bad Tony Romo fill-ins that were trotted out last year."
Foxsports: 17th: "This may be the end of the line for Tony Romo in Dallas. A broken back for a quarterback in his mid-30's is not good, and with the emergence of rookie Dak Prescott, there may be no coming back. Prescott has looked nice, but is he going to be good enough as a rookie to help lead a squad with a poor defense to the playoffs? We'll see."
Shutdown Corner: 19th. " "
Bleacher Report (Pantorno): 9th: No further comment here, but who needs a blurb with a ranking anyway?
SB Nation: 13th. Our corporate headquarters doesn't bother with a specific comment either.
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|Mile High Report||16||32||14||12|
Overall, it looks like the Cowboys are buried somewhere in the middle of the league, and while you disagree with an individual ranking, the sum of all rankings is probably fairly accurate. A lot of questions that keep the Cowboys out of the top 10 (for the most part), but enough promise to keep them out of the bottom 10.
And if these rankings are anything to go by, we'll have some great suckitude in Philly to look forward to, for which the poor guys won't even be rewarded with a high draft pick because that pick is in Cleveland's hands.
Where would you rank the Cowboys as they head into the 2016 season?