The first five games of the season are in the books for most teams, and things are certainly very different than we thought they would be when everything kicked off over a month ago.
As far as our team is concerned, the Dallas Cowboys resemble very little of the group that we speculated about over the offseason. Injuries have decimated this team and came for the leader, Dak Prescott, on Sunday. These are Andy Dalton’s Cowboys for the remainder of the season and it is difficult to know exactly who that group is.
We usually drop these power rankings every Tuesday as NFL action has normally come to a close. Obviously there was a game that took place last evening between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, so they have been delayed a day.
Here are our Week 6 power rankings. You can check out last week’s right here.
1 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 3)
The new number one. Russell Wilson for MVP.
2 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 2)
They are certainly contenders as well.
3 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1)
It is worth mentioning that while the Raiders are the only team to beat them that the Chargers took them to the limit in a game that Justin Herbert found out he was starting in just before kickoff. Being the hunted is not easy.
4 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 5)
No movement after a bye.
5 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 7)
They are 4-0 for the first time since 1979. How is that possible?!
6 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 6)
Derrick Henry, my goodness.
7 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 8)
They swept the NFC East. Give them the title.
8 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 4)
They’ll be back.
9 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 12)
Is this finally happening?
10 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 15)
Jeff Heath got the game-sealing interception off of Patrick Mahomes. GOAT.
11 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 14)
Next week’s opponent took care of the Jets with ease.
12 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 9)
Tom Brady really forgot what down it was.
13 - New England Patriots (LW: 10)
They have had their fair share of challenges in recent weeks.
14 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 11)
A nice win on Monday night, but they struggled early on.
15 - Chicago Bears (LW: 17)
Are they the paper tiger of this season?
16 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 20)
The “running backs don’t matter” crowd is rather enjoying the success without Christian McCaffrey.
17 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 13)
All due respect to Matt Eberflus, but they finally played a solid offense and couldn’t hold up.
18 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 16)
This was a fascinating loss. Their trajectory is one of the more interesting storylines of the season.
19 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18)
They are so hard to figure out. I support going for it, by the way.
20 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 19)
Justin Herbert is the real deal.
21 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 22)
It is impossible to know who this team is at the moment. All that is certain is that they need to figure some things out.
22 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 21)
The “competition” for the Cowboys to win the division.
23 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 26)
Way to go, Ryan Fitzpatrick!
24 - Houston Texans (LW: 25)
25 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 23)
Losing to the Ravens is hardly anything to be ashamed about.
26 - Detroit Lions (LW: 24)
Bye week blues.
27 - Denver Broncos (LW: 27)
Another off week.
28 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 28)
Maybe they will experience the bounce back that Houston did.
29 - New York Giants (LW: 31)
They put up a fight, but they were aided in that there wasn’t much to fight against.
30 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29)
31 - Washington Football Team (LW: 30)
All the respect in the world to Alex Smith.
32 - New York Jets (LW: 32)
NFL.com: 22 (LW: 20)
So it begins.
Complete disaster. That’s the only way to describe what happened on Sunday in Jerrah World, a last-second 37-34 win over the Giants that will be remembered for the awful ankle injury that ended Dak Prescott’s season after a brilliant month. Enter Andy Dalton, whose smart offseason signing looks genius now that Dallas will be forced to go with a backup QB the rest of the way. Dalton, 32, has shown in his years of starting experience that he can play at a high level when surrounded with the right parts. He’s got that now in a way he never had in Cincinnati. Dalton has the ability to keep the Cowboys relevant, but there’s no sugarcoating the ugly nature of Prescott’s loss. For a team that entered 2020 with Super Bowl aspirations, it’s an absolute crusher.
ESPN: 18 (LW: 18)
No change here.
Biggest weakness: Defense
With Dak Prescott out for the season, you would think it would be the offense’s ability to put up points with Andy Dalton at quarterback. But it’s not. It’s on the defense — the entire defense. Cowboys opponents have had 60 drives in the first five games and have scored on 31 of them, with 19 touchdowns and 12 field goals. (And four of those possessions were either taking a knee or running out the clock to kill the half or a game.) The Giants entered Week 5 with 47 points, and their offense scored 24 points on two touchdowns and four field goals. With dynamic offenses to come, the Cowboys’ defense has a lot to fix. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 24 (LW: 19)
A sizable dip.
Andy Dalton’s new team just lost its best player but definitely still has horses to win lackluster NFC East if troops rally post-Dak.
Sporting News: 19 (LW: 20)
A slight bump up from the win.
The Cowboys will need to play the rest of the season without Dak Prescott, so now there’s a lot on Ezekiel Elliott and Andy Dalton to save gamedays with the defense still struggling, save for a few pressure plays a game.
Yahoo: 22 (LW: 21)
As mentioned it is difficult to figure this team out at the moment.
It was far from the most important injury that happened to the Cowboys on Sunday, but losing defensive tackle Trysten Hill to a torn ACL doesn’t help either. The Cowboys defense gave up 34 points to a Giants team that couldn’t move the ball at all the past few weeks, and now will be without another contributor.
CBS Sports: 18 (LW: 20)
A slight bump.
Dak Prescott is lost for the season, which means Andy Dalton is in as the starter. With the way the defense is playing, he’s going to have to chuck it around a lot.
Sports Illustrated: 25 (LW: 19)
The largest fall.
The prospect of Andy Dalton getting dropped into what the Cowboys’ offense looked like this summer was interesting. But Dalton has always struggled in muddy pockets, and losing both starting tackles means he’ll be playing from a lot of muddy pockets (the Giants, mind you, might have the meekest edge rushers in football). They’re in the right division, and once Leighton Vander Esch returns perhaps the defense goes from bottom-five all-time to regular ol’ bottom-five this season. Either way, it’s difficult to project the Andy Dalton Cowboys as anything other than a bottom-third-of-the-league team.