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NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys are “smart, not sexy”

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Way too early power rankings, but we’ll check them out anyway.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Mock drafts and power rankings. In the grand scheme, they are pretty worthless except for the entertainment value they bring us as we wait for the offseason to close and for real football to return. Earlier today, we took a look at a mock draft for the Cowboys, and now we’ll turn to a way-too-early, post-free-agency power ranking provided by ESPN.

The number one spot in the rankings belongs to the Saints, followed by the Rams and the Patriots. You could probably slot those guys in any order among the top three and be okay. So where do the Cowboys place? Well, they slide into the Top 10 at number ten. Our old friend Todd Archer provides the description.

Three-words-or-less description: Smart, not sexy. The Cowboys are always linked to high-profile free agents but rarely invest in the deep end of the pool. Earl Thomas is the latest example. The Cowboys weren’t going to pay that kind of price. But they have made smart decisions, such as adding Randall Cobb and George Iloka, trading for Robert Quinn and bringing back Jason Witten. They can still be sexy, which would be keeping DeMarcus Lawrence on a long-term deal and getting Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott under contract, too. -- Todd Archer

The Cowboys approach to free agency has definitely been about value, but they did get a few outside “names” in Randall Cobb and Robert Quinn, although the latter was technically through a trade. They also brought back Jason Witten and DeMarcus Lawrence is a free agent who will be back, provided everything works out with his contract. That’s not a bad haul in free agency, and there were some other moves that a year from now we might be saying “man, that move was certainly underrated at the time.”

As for our NFC East brethren, Philadelphia comes in at number eight. Once again, they are moved ahead of the Cowboys for no apparent reason as all they really did in free agency is get older, and they were already old. Washington landed at 27th and New York is a lowly 30th. It certainly does appear to be a two-team race in the NFC East in 2019.

And the surprise team of the rankings? The Cleveland Browns at ninth. Yes, they made some really good moves this offseason and they were already an improved team by the end of last year. But a Top 10 team already? They need to prove it on the field.