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Week 5 NFL power rankings: Cowboys rise, but still beyond the middle of the pack

Up is up, no matter how far it is.

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Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We’re four weeks into the 2018 NFL season and things are a little surprising with other teams. Who would have ever thought that the Tennessee Titans would be 3-1, for example? Big shout out to them for taking down the Philadelphia Eagles, by the way.

That’s the nature of the National Football League every season, though. Teams surprise us, teams fail to live up to expectation, and in what feels like rare cases some teams just stay the same.

Thankfully the always-accurate and never-ever-wrong metric of evaluation has arrived as we enter Week 5. It’s time for power rankings, baby. Here’s how the Cowboys stacked up across the landscape of the world.

SB Nation: 24, previously 29

The Cowboys were near the back of the bunch over at SB Nation last week. This isn’t Lost, we can never go back there. EVER. Onward. 22, previously 24

I don’t know about you, but the Cowboys are obviously feeling 22 in more than one sense. This is true in terms of this ranking (maybe more, no spoilers here) and in terms of their record, 2-2.

Back to reality, Dallas being 22nd is pretty fair a month in. They’re starting to show signs of life which is always a good thing when you need a turnaround.

Key for Dak moving forward: maintaining this level of performance against teams that can bring more heat than the Lions, and doing it consistently, week in and week out. The Cowboys are sure glad they don’t have to play Golden Tate every week. Good grief.

ESPN: 21, previously 22

The worldwide leader has the Cowboys in the early 20s as well, and they also took it upon themselves to discuss how the snap-leading rookies on each team were doing. That’s Connor Williams for Dallas.

Rookie snaps leader: OL Connor Williams, 230 snaps out of 230 (100 percent). The Cowboys’ five-man offensive line has not missed a snap in the first four games. Williams is one of seven rookies (all OL) who have not missed an offensive snap. -- Masi

USA Today: 22, previously 27

Beating the Lions the way the Cowboys did was great but not the most impressive thing in the world. It seems USA Today feels similarly despite the five-spot jump.

Despite strong Sunday, Dak Prescott not among NFL’s top 25-rated passers ... poor metric for someone eligible for offseason extension.

Sports Illustrated: 19, previously t-25

SI is higher on the Cowboys than anybody else, and for what it’s worth one of their voters even put Dallas as high as 17th. When you alternate wins and losses you don’t inspire people to a great degree, the Cowboys are going to have to put together consecutive wins if they want more on the rest of this season.

Bleacher Report: 22, previously 27

Aren’t you glad I didn’t spoil it? The Cowboys are viewed as the 22nd best team in the NFL by more than one, Bleacher Report has them slotted there as well.

The game was a blueprint for success for this Cowboys team: Bang away on the ground and use that to set up play action. It was also a desperately needed win for a Cowboys team that was in danger of having the season get away from them early.

What do you think of the various power rankings? Are they fair? Is Dallas being at all slept on?

The Cowboys play on Sunday Night Football this week so if they perform well the whole world will see it (not that this isn’t necessarily true for a non-primetime game, but you get it). They have an opportunity to kickstart the second quarter of the season. They’re going to need to if they don’t want to fall back into hot water.

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