Power Rankings. They are the car wreck on the highway, we don’t want to look, but somehow we feel compelled to anyway. If this were college football, rankings would make a huge difference as they can affect what happens in the post-season. In professional football - not so much. Still, they are fun to look at and get a gauge on what media around the league think of each team.
Today we’ll check in on the ESPN rankings, the first ones they’ve released since right after the draft. Now that every team has a preseason game under its belt, it’s time for Power Rankings to swing back into action. The Cowboys rank?
6. Dallas Cowboys
2016 record: 13-3
Post-draft ranking: No. 5
With Ezekiel Elliott's suspension set at six games, quarterback Dak Prescott will have to play on without his top running back. He completed 73 percent of his passes with Elliott on the field last season, compared to 60 percent with him off the field.
The Cowboys drop one spot from their number five ranking following the draft, a drop that obviously is a result of the Elliott suspension. Still, number six is a quality ranking for the ‘Boys. They are behind the two Super Bowl contestants, New England and Atlanta, and it’s hard to argue with that. After that are powerhouses Seattle, Pittsburgh and Green Bay. The Cowboys are definitely right in the mix with those teams.
As for our fellow NFC East rivals, we’ll start with the Giants who are down two spots to number 11. Washington stays put at number 20.
But the eye-opener is the ranking for the Eagels. They were 22nd coming out of the draft. Now they are all the way up to 15th?!
2016 record: 7-9
Post-draft ranking: No. 22
Carson Wentz has a lot more to work with this season thanks to the additions of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount. Despite some positives in 2016, Wentz did finish with the 26th-best Total QBR, partially because of the Eagles' issues at wide receiver.
Are you buying a much-improved Eagles team? And does the Cowboys ranking at #6 look right to you?