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2020 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: The Cowboys might have the worst defense in the league

The Cowboys continue their sink to the bottom.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are 1-3 on the season and that is a whole lot of pain for fans to digest after the first quarter. It’s starting to feel like the national media is being more critical of the Cowboys than in years past. With Jason Garrett gone, there is no longer that idea to lean on as the reason for their lack of success. This team is disappointing and there is no way around that.

Here is our weekly roundup of power rankings, including our own. You can see last week’s version right here.


1 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1)

They showed signs of vulnerability on Monday night, but kings stay kings.

2 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 2)

Lamar Jackson can run one in from anywhere.

3 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 3)

The best team in the NFC.

4 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 4)

Josh Allen is a legitimate MVP candidate.

5 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 5)

They have as many losses since Matt LaFleur took over (last season) as the Cowboys do since Mike McCarthy did. Not great!

6 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 6)

Glad to hear positive tests are down.

7 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 7)

They will be rested for the Eagles if you want some silver lining this week.

8 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 9)

It was hard to put them over Tennessee or Pittsburgh due to that game not happening, but Sean McVay’s squad grinded one out and appears on their way back.

9 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 11)

They are starting to live up to the preseason hype.

10 - New England Patriots (LW: 10)

Cam Newton would have won that game for them in Kansas City.

11 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 15)

They were able to climb out of a hole they dug for themselves. Must be nice.

12 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16)

Sigh.

13 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 17)

They’ve had the benefit of an easy schedule to start, but Matt Eberflus’ defense looks stout.

14 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 12)

Growing pains are still to be expected.

15 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 13)

It’s so hard to tell who this team is going to be.

16 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 14)

Long live the Nick Mullens hype.

17 - Chicago Bears (LW: 8)

Hard to be concerned at 3-1, but this offense looked bad against Indy.

18 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 20)

They ended Bill O’Brien’s tenure in Houston.

19 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 22)

Justin Herbert is playing better than Joe Burrow at the moment.

20 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 25)

A surprising 2-2 start.

21 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 28)

Congratulations on a win, ugh.

22 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 18)

Honestly 22 feels generous.

23 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 26)

Joe is, in fact, playing well himself.

24 - Detroit Lions (LW: 19)

An incredibly disorganized bunch.

25 - Houston Texans (LW: 21)

Have they been freed?

26 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 23)

Another week of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

27 - Denver Broncos (LW: 30)

They showed things to be intrigued about on Thursday night.

28 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 24)

The only team that has lost to the Dallas Cowboys.

29 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 27)

Starting to become who we thought they would be.

30 - Washington Football Team (LW: 29)

Are they ready to give up on Dwayne Haskins?

31 - New York Giants (LW: 31)

If this offense looks good on Sunday... yikes.

32 - New York Jets (LW: 32)

If there is a dumpster fire, it is them.


NFL.com: 20 (LW: 17)

So it begins.

You officially have permission to panic about the 2020 Cowboys. This team can’t cover, can’t stop the run and can’t get off the field when it counts — the defense’s failures were all laid bare in a 49-38 loss to the Browns at JerrahWorld. The struggles were especially painful on a day when Dak Prescott and the offense went on a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter to bring the Cowboys to the precipice of another miracle win. But the defense wilted again on a game-sealing Odell Beckham 50-yard touchdown run that could have gone for a 12-yard loss if Aldon Smith had been able to wrangle the speedy wide receiver. The Cowboys have allowed 146 points through four games, the most in franchise history. How does it get better?

ESPN: 18 (LW: 17)

Only one spot of a drop.

FPI chance to make playoffs: 68.7%

That figure represents too much faith in the returns of Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown from injury to help the defense. The Cowboys will score points. That we know. Can they stop anybody? They have struggled in coverage in allowing too many big plays. They allowed 307 yards on the ground to Cleveland. Their saving grace is that they play in the NFC East. They will be in it until the end, but that percentage seems too high, especially with what should be a more difficult close to the season than beginning. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 19 (LW: 16)

A bottom-half team.

Has Dallas ever been more Jekyll and Hyde? The “Hot and Cold Boys” (maybe?) have gained most yards in team history through four games while also surrendering the most.

Sporting News: (LW: 18)

In the 20s.

The Cowboys’ defense is atrocious and without Dak Prescott they would be winless. But because of Prescott, they are a very dangerous team and still can win the weak NFC East. They won’t be facing big-time offenses every week.

Yahoo: 21 (LW: 18)

Beep beep beep.

Dak Prescott is somehow on pace for 6,760 passing yards. Plenty of that has come with Dallas trailing, often by a lot. Prescott has one completion, two attempts and 11 yards with the Cowboys leading all season. While Prescott’s stats are pumped up by game scripts, it’s hard to put the blame on him for the Cowboys’ start.

CBS Sports: 20 (LW: 17)

This is who we are.

The defense is putrid. They can’t stop anybody. That puts way too much pressure on Dak Prescott and the offense. Jerry Jones can’t be happy.

Sports Illustrated: 19 (LW: 15)

Just inside the top 20.

Dak Prescott got away with a few would-be picks, keeping the loss to Cleveland from being even worse. The Cowboys’ defense is a problem, and not in a good way.