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Cowboys rest comfortably in the top 10 of several NFL power rankings

Most outlets believe the Cowboys are contenders in 2020.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Just how good will the Dallas Cowboys be in 2020? That’s the question we all want answered, but we’ll have to play the games to find out. Before the ball is kicked, we have the annual power rankings tradition to keep us entertained. Unlike college football, polls don’t matter, but it is an interesting way to see how the national media views the Cowboys.

Today we have three power rankings, and the Cowboys are right in among the contenders before the season begins.

ESPN:

8. Dallas Cowboys

Who’s on the hot seat? QB Dak Prescott

Why his seat is warm: Mike McCarthy gets a bit of a reprieve because he did not have a full offseason because of the pandemic, so Prescott gets the label. His seat is not so much hotter than it’s been in the past, but since Prescott is playing on the one-year franchise tag at a cost of $31.4 million, he needs to put together another sensational season to get a big deal next year, from the Cowboys or on the open market. Prescott has helped the Cowboys to the playoffs in two of his four seasons and has one playoff win. It’s time for the team to go beyond the divisional round, but nobody would benefit more than Prescott. — Todd Archer

The Cowboys manage a Top 8 ranking here, ahead of their NFC East rival Philadelphia, who are 12th in these rankings.

NFL.com:

7 Dallas Cowboys

Previous rank: No. 7

Quite an eventful past week for the defense, which continues to be the biggest question mark surrounding Big D. On Monday, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy ruptured his quad in practice, a brutal injury that ended his season — and inherently, his tenure in Dallas. That disappointment came a few days after the Cowboys wisely invested in former Vikings star defensive end Everson Griffen on a one-year deal. McCoy’s injury stings for Dallas, which was counting on the former All-Pro to provide stability on a line that lost Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins in free agency. With an elite offense in place, the Cowboys really just need their defense to be average. Do they have the pieces in place to pull that off?

That seems to be a theme around the Cowboys. The offense will be elite, but can the defense do enough to win games? Turnovers from the defense would be a huge help in accomplishing that. What’s often left unsaid in these types of analysis is the play of special teams. That may be the most important element to improvement for the Cowboys between 2019 and 2020.

Pro Football Network:

5) Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys‘ offense averaged more yards per play than any team in the league last year…and could be even better in 2020. The defense should be more attacking, and the coaching change to Mike McCarthy could have a positive ripple effect on Dallas’ special teams and ability to win close games. Adding Everson Griffin could be the icing on the cake.

Top 5? That’s high praise. Nice to see this analysis include the special teams. The new coaching staff and the expected change to being a more aggressive football team is one of the main reasons people are so high on the Cowboys going into 2020.

What’s your take, BTB? Too high, too low, or just right in these power rankings?