The regular season is here which means that we’re about to have actual football games of note to watch, talk about, and analyze. It’s the greatest time of the year.
At this point there obviously aren’t any games for us to go off of, just who these teams were last season plus all of the roster adjustments of the offseason. If you really want, you can factor in how certain teams looked throughout the preseason, there’s also a few injuries to consider, but all in all this is a tough week to figure out where NFL teams stand.
That being said, we’re going to do just that. Welcome to the first edition of our weekly power rankings here at BTB. Every week you’ll be able to see how various outlets across the internet rank the Cowboys among the other 31 teams in the National Football League. Before we get there though we’re going to start something new this year, drop our own power rankings!
BTB’s Week 1 Power Rankings
1 - New England Patriots (reigning Super Bowl champions): They are the greatest team of this generation, have the best coach, and employ the best quarterback. There’s no reason for them to not be at the top right now.
Week 1 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday Night Football)
2 - Kansas City Chiefs (the fighting Pat Mahomes’): The hype around the Chiefs this season is very real, and why shouldn’t it be? Pat Mahomes looks like the quarterback that will dominate the league for the next decade, plus KC just reunited LeSean McCoy with Andy Reid.
Week 1 opponent: at Jacksonville Jaguars
3 - New Orleans Saints (is this the year?): I’m a firm believer that it’s extremely difficult to play at an elite level year after year. New Orleans has dealt with postseason heartbreak in each of the last two playoffs. Maybe this is the year, but Drew Brees’ age is worth monitoring.
Week 1 opponent: Houston Texans (Monday Night Football, first game)
4 - Los Angeles Rams (losing the Super Bowl sucks): The Rams didn’t exactly load up this offseason like they did last year and Todd Gurley’s knee is very much worth watching; however, Sean McVay is Sean McVay. Until we see otherwise it’s fair to believe.
Week 1 opponent: at Carolina Panthers
5 - Dallas Cowboys (holdouts be damned): I’ve said many times over the last months that I believe Dallas to have a top-five roster in the NFL, and that means they’re a top five team. The Cowboys begin with three not-necessarily-intimidating games and that could propel them to a strong start to the season. Believe.
Week 1 opponent: New York Giants
6 - Philadelphia Eagles (they’re very good): Philly also has one of the best rosters in the NFL, but they were swept by the Cowboys last year. It’s illogical to regard them as better without any 2019 data in my opinion. The NFC East will come down to America’s Team and the bad guys, it should be fun.
Week 1 opponent: Washington Redskins
7 - Los Angeles Chargers (also experiencing a holdout): Death, taxes, and Chargers getting hurt. Somehow though Phillip Rivers generally finds a way to overcome and even with players already banged up and Melvin Gordon not showing up, the Chargers should be in contention once more.
Week 1 opponent: Indianapolis Colts
8 - Seattle Seahawks (adding a pass rusher helps): The Seahawks won the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes and amazingly sort of re-made their pass rush in one offseason. Moves in the eleventh hour still count which means Seattle is ready to roll for the season opener.
Week 1 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
9 - Cleveland Browns (there’s a lot of hype): I’m skeptical of putting the Browns this high, but they do have a lot of talent. It will be very interesting to see how Cleveland handles all of these expectations
Week 1 opponent: Tennessee Titans
10 - Pittsburgh Steelers (they still exist): The only true loss for the Steelers compared to last year is Antonio Brown, although that’s obviously a lot of production. People act like they’re going to drop off a ton, but Big Ben always finds a way to remain competitive.
Week 1 opponent: at New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football)
11 - Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. I’m a believer in that returning to some prominence.
Week 1 opponent: at Minnesota Vikings
12 - Chicago Bears: A playoff team from a year ago, but I’m not the biggest believer. Can that defense really sustain such a strong turnover rate?
Week 1 opponent: Green Bay Packers (Thursday night on NBC)
13 - Green Bay Packers: I debated putting them above Chicago, but we need to see Matt LeFleur’s offense first. Aaron Rodgers is so good and it’s so annoying, ugh.
Week 1 opponent: at Chicago Bears (Thursday night on NBC)
14 - Houston Texans: Perhaps they deserve to be a bit higher, but the Clowney trade really soured people on Houston. At least Deshaun Watson will be protected, but to what degree?
Week 1 opponent: at New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football, first game)
15 - Baltimore Ravens: It would be great to see Lamar Jackson take the next step as a passer, but until it happens a lot of people will be skeptical. Earl Thomas will be awesome, though.
Week 1 opponent: at Miami Dolphins
16 - Carolina Panthers: I enjoyed the All or Nothing on last season’s Panthers, and I just can’t see how they haven’t always been unstoppable with Cam Newton. If he’s healthy, they’ll be great.
Week 1 opponent: Los Angeles Rams
17 - Jacksonville Jaguars: It’s so great to get to root for Nick Foles now that he’s not you know where, and Leonard Fournette has to bounce back, right? Add that to a defense that should rebound and there’s something there.
Week 1 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
18 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I’ve long held the belief that Bruce Arians is highly overrated by most, but I don’t think he’s bad or anything. The Bucs have a lot of weapons on offense that he should be able to have some fun with.
Week 1 opponent: San Francisco 49ers
19 - Minnesota Vikings: If you asked someone who the quarterback facing the most pressure in 2019 was you’d get a lot of answers, but the true one might be Kirk Cousins.
Week 1 opponent: Atlanta Falcons
20 - New York Jets: It feels high because they’re the Jets, but I’m intrigued. Le’Veon Bell has to be good, right?
Week 1 opponent: Buffalo Bills
21 - Tennessee Titans: This could come back to bite me, but I think the Titans could flirt with a wildcard spot in 2019. It all depends, as always, on Marcus Mariota’s health.
Week 1 opponent: at Cleveland Browns
22 - Buffalo Bills: If Josh Allen takes a step then they have a roster that could cause a bit of fun.
Week 1 opponent: at New York Jets
23 - San Francisco 49ers: We still don’t know who Jimmy Garoppolo is. If he’s good, well, San Francisco’s got a shot.
Week 1 opponent: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
24 - Indianapolis Colts: The Andrew Luck retirement obviously sets them back, but recently re-signed Jacoby Brissett seems to have the favor of the team. How good can Frank Reich be again?
Week 1 opponent: at Los Angeles Chargers
25 - Detroit Lions: The Lions are so hard to figure out, but Matt Stafford has always been mediocre enough to be entertaining. It remains to be seen if Matt Patricia is the right man for that job.
Week 1 opponent: at Arizona Cardinals
26 - Washington Redskins: It would be fascinating to see Dwayne Haskins play as a rookie, but that offensive line would do him no favors. Could this be the last year of Jay Gruden?
Week 1 opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles
27 - Oakland Raiders: There is still so much to doubt, but enough to be interested at least. Surely Antonio Brown can make it more complicated, though.
Week 1 opponent: Denver Broncos (Monday Night Football, second game)
28 - Arizona Cardinals: Until we see it we can’t believe it. But Kyler Murray will likely be fun.
Week 1 opponent: Detroit Lions
29 - Denver Broncos: Joe Flacco is supposed to bring the Broncos back to prominence? Joe Flacco? Emmanuel Sanders is awesome, though.
Week 1 opponent: at Oakland Raiders (Monday Night Football, second game)
30 - New York Giants: Eli Manning. That is all.
Week 1 opponent: at Dallas Cowboys
31 - Cincinnati Bengals: This could be the last year of Andy Dalton.
Week 1 opponent: at Seattle Seahawks
32 - Miami Dolphins: Tank, tank, tank. (not DeMarcus Lawrence)
Week 1 opponent: Baltimore Ravens
There’s a change in who’s writing the power rankings at NFL.com this season, it’s now Dan Hanzus as opposed to Elliot Harrison (Hanzus hosts the Around the NFL Podcast if you listen to it). He’s got the Cowboys among the league’s best.
Looking for a breakout candidate on the Cowboys? How about second-year wide receiver Michael Gallup, who continued to flash this summer in practice and preseason action. Against the Texans in Week 3 of the preseason, Gallup showed good awareness when Dak Prescott was pressured and forced to scramble on a third-and-goal. Gallup peeled away from his defender, worked his way into Prescott’s line of sight and made a 12-yard touchdown catch. Amari Cooper’s foot issue has allowed Gallup to get a ton of work with Prescott, and on a team with a premiere running back like Ezekiel Elliott (if/when he returns) and a legit No. 1 wideout in Cooper, Gallup will get his opportunities to be a difference-maker. Unsolicited advice: If Gallup is on your waiver wire in fantasy, you would do yourself well to scoop him up. In return for this advice, send a portion of your championship winnings to me via Venmo.
Bleacher Report: 8th
Another top 10 ranking for Dallas.
It’s been quite the ride, whether it was “Zeke who?” or the preseason ascension of rookie tailback Tony Pollard. But it looks like cooler and saner heads are set to prevail—there are reports that Elliott and the Cowboys are working on a deal that will get the fourth-year pro in Dallas in time for the season opener against the Giants, but it’s far from a done deal, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.
Oh, the drama.
Sports Illustrated: 6th
SI is the highest on the Cowboys among all of these outlets.
Ezekiel Elliott’s contract situation hangs heavy over this team. Could they play Week 1 without their star running back?
USA Today: 14th
Welp. At least LB Jaylon Smith got paid. Remains to be seen how unresolved contract situations on offense impact Dallas.
CBS Sports: 17th
How much time will Ezekiel Elliott miss? Will it impact the season? The defense should be nasty.
Which Power Ranking list is most fair?
This poll is closed
Bleacher Report: 8th
Sports Illustrated: 6th
USA Today: 14th
CBS Sports: 17th