Are you ready for some... Power Rankings? Yes, it’s crazy early for such things, but we don’t care, we’ll play along anyway. ESPN has put out its latest “post-draft power rankings” which takes into account how teams did in the draft and factors that into the rankings. In the previous version of the power rankings, the Cowboys were ranked fourth. Now...
2016 record: 13-3
Post-free agency ranking: No. 4
The Cowboys went 8-8 three years in a row from 2011 to 2013. Their win totals the past three years are 12, 4 and 13. That pattern doesn't bode well, but that offensive line travels, so I guess that keeps the Cowboys here. Nobody seems to care that no one in their secondary is finished with finals yet.
The Cowboys have dropped a spot. Still, a ranking in the top five shows the respect this roster has around the league, and the confidence that writers have in Dak Prescott and the Dallas offensive line. The top four spots were the Patriots, Falcons, Packers, and Steelers. Pittsburgh is the team that jumped one spot up and moved the Cowboys one spot down.
As for our NFC East brethren, they ranked as follows: New York (9), Washington (20), Philadelphia (22).
Another power ranking of sorts is out today, but it involves ranking each team’s recent draft class. Lance Zerliein at NFL.com ranked all the teams draft classes based on this criteria: In putting this list together, I looked at how teams addressed their needs, operated within the confines of their draft picks and sprinkled in my own assessments of some of their selections.
While we have generally been pleased with the Cowboys draft haul, and it has received praise in many corners, Zerlein is less sanguine about it. Out of 32 teams, Dallas is ranked 20th.
20. Dallas Cowboys
Draft picks: Taco Charlton (No. 28 overall), Chidobe Awuzie (No. 60 overall), Jourdan Lewis (No. 92 overall), Ryan Switzer (No. 133 overall), Xavier Woods (No. 191 overall), Marquez White (No. 216 overall), Joey Ivie (No. 228 overall), Noah Brown (No. 239 overall), Jordan Carrell (No. 246 overall)
The Cowboys didn't try to get too cute with this draft. They came in needing a pass rusher and secondary help and they went to work in those areas. Taco Charlton has to prove he can live up to his potential, but Rod Marinelli tends to get the most out of defensive linemen. CBs Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis have the talent to be early contributors. The addition of WR Ryan Switzer didn't make much sense with Cole Beasley on the roster.
No mention of potential draft steal Xavier Woods, and Switzer makes sense if you also consider his return skills and potential gadget play/screen opportunities. He appears to be a much more explosive open field runner than Beasley. There is also the possibility of Beasley and Switzer playing together as double slots.
The surprising note out of Zerlein’s rankings was that that he has the Eagles as the number one ranked class. Equally as surprising, but very fun, he ranked the Giants draft haul dead last.
The NFC East: Philadelphia (1), Washington (10), New York (32).