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NFL power rankings Week 16: Ezekiel Elliott is back for final Cowboys playoff push

A look at where this week's power rankings have the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East slotted.

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Oakland Raiders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Looking at the playoff odds from, there are 16 teams with better playoff odds than the Cowboys. But does that mean the Cowboys should be ranked 17th or lower in this week's power rankings?

“Not so fast,” say the 10 power rankings compiled below for your enjoyment.

NY Daily News - No. 10 (LW: 12)

America's Team went 3-3 during Zeke Elliott's suspension. The workhorse running back returns in a must-win against the Seahawks.

NESN - No. 11 (LW: 13)

Dallas went 3-3 in Ezekiel Elliott’s absence, but will need some help in the final two weeks to make the playoffs. Still, the ‘Boys are alive as Elliott returns with two games to play, and that’s all they could have asked for when Elliott’s suspension began.

Washington Post - No. 11 (LW: 13)

RB Ezekiel Elliott is back from his six-game suspension and the Cowboys still have some hope in the NFC playoff chase. Maybe Elliott should take the opposite approach of Aaron Rodgers and say that yes, he is back to save the season. - No. 12 (LW: 14)

No Cowboys commentary provided this week.

Sagarin Rating - No. 12 (LW: 15)

These are rankings based on W/L record, points differential and schedule strength.

Yahoo - No. 13 (LW: 13)

Well, the Cowboys get Ezekiel Elliott back when they’re still alive in the playoff race. The biggest result for them next week, other than beating the Seahawks at home, might be an Eagles win. If the Eagles win or the Vikings lose, Philadelphia will clinch the No. 1 seed. Dallas plays at Philadelphia in Week 17. We don’t know how the Eagles will handle Week 17 if they’ve clinched everything, but obviously the Cowboys are better off facing an Eagles team with nothing to play for.

ESPN - No. 13 (LW: 15)

Jason Witten (10 Pro Bowls): The veteran is still reeling in passes at 35 years old, ranking seventh in receptions (56) among tight ends this season. He just doesn't do much with them anymore, averaging just 1.8 yards after the catch, last among qualified tight ends.

Chicago Tribune - No. 13 (LW: 15)

Ezekiel Elliott returns in the nick of time with Dallas maintaining a slight chance at a playoff run

USA Today - No. 14 (LW: 14)

Zeke who? Run game last three weeks actually better than Dallas' overall season average. But we'll venture they're happy to have Elliott back.

Fivethirtyeight - No. 14 (LW: 14)

Elo ratings are a simple system that estimates each team’s skill level using only the final scores and locations of each game.

Here's where Dallas ranks relative to the Eagles, Redskins, and Giants.

Dal_medium Phi_medium Was_medium Nyg_medium
Wk 16 Wk 16 Wk 16 Wk 16
NY Daily News 10 3 - - - -
NESN 11 6 22 31
Washington Post 11 7 21 31
538 12 2 20 29
Sports Illustrated 12 7 19 31
Sagarin 12 2 17 28
Yahoo 13 2 23 31
ESPN 13 3 21 30
Chicago Tribune 13 2 20 31
USA Today 14 8 19 31
Average Week 16 12.1 4.2 20.2 30.3
Average Week 15 13.5 4.2 21.6 30.6

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