Let’s indulge an offseason tradition and dive into some power rankings. We know they’re meaningless, but we don’t care because as sports fans it allows to do something we love to do - debate someone else’s opinion. These were all post-draft rankings. And away we go.
14. Dallas Cowboys
2017 record: 9-7
Post-free-agency ranking: 17
The Cowboys didn’t address pass-catchers until the third round, and while they had other needs, the weapons around quarterback Dak Prescott are looking pretty light. Dez Bryant was released, and Jason Witten is headed to the broadcast booth. Those two rank first and third on the Cowboys’ all-time receiving touchdowns list.
The ranking seems legit to me, even a little higher than others we’ve seen so far in this early offseason, but it contains a constant theme we see from everywhere because it’s the easy story. The loss of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will cause the Cowboys problems in 2018. Maybe so, that’s yet to be seen. The real problem I have is the way everybody treats Bryant and Witten like they’re were still the 2014 versions of themselves, instead of what they had become by 2017.
Bryant’s production has been on the decline, and it’s funny how writers and pundits have gone from pointing out that Bryant is not nearly as effective anymore, to how much the Cowboys will miss him. Which is it? And while Jason Witten was still a huge leader in the locker room, his production was declining and his ability to really influence games was dwindling. The Cowboys should be younger and more athletic in 2018, so we’ll have to see how much they miss Bryant and Witten.
NFC East rankings Philadelphia #1, Washington #18, New York #26
They will look like a different team with no Dez Bryant or Jason Witten. The good news is there is no suspension pending for Ezekiel Elliott this year.
Yes, that is very good news. As we noted in our review of All or Nothing, it seemed like the suspension affected Elliott all year long, not just the six games he missed. Having him back and motivated will surely strengthen the running game. The ranking of #18 seems a little low to me, the Cowboys should be squarely in the middle of the pack given their 2017 performance. If you think a younger, more athletic, more diverse offense will be an asset like I do, the optimism meter should be pointing up.
NFC East rankings Philadelphia #1, Washington #25, New York #30.
19. Cowboys (17): With Zeke and ever better O-line, they’re built to grind opponents. But passing game, questionable D mean trouble if they fall behind.
A little low on the rankings for me, but here is the real problem with this particular power ranking.
NFC East rankings Philadelphia #1, New York #17, Washington #20.
Wow, the New York Giants are rated ahead of Dallas. The 3-13 Giants from 2017. One decent draft and they go from 29 in the rankings to 17. Incredible.
Where would rank the Cowboys?