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2021 NFL Week 13 power rankings: Nobody knows anything about this season

This is the strangest NFL season in some time.

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Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

When was the last time that you were unsure who the best team in the NFL was? If ever? It seems like every week all that we know to be true is completely rocked within the National Football League which is really the only thing providing solace to a Dallas Cowboys team that has dropped a couple of would-be wins to not-exactly-great squads.

But even the supposedly fraudulent teams in the NFL this year are showing signs of stability at different turns. We are truly in an era of Any Given Sunday and - unless our team is involved - it is a joy to witness.

Here are our weekly power rankings including how various outlets around the media are viewing the Dallas Cowboys.

You can visit our rankings from last week right here.

1 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 1)

The bye week came at a perfect time for the Arizona Cardinals. It appears that Kyler Murray could be returning so their previous form should as well.

2 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 4)

It is very not fun to watch the Packers be highly successful, but of all the contenders in the league this season their losses are the most explainable. They continue to find ways and it looks like a Cowboys trip to Lambeau Field in the playoffs is inevitable.

3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 2)

The Buccaneers tend to find ways to win off of the will of Tom Brady, but they do also fly close to the sun sometimes. They are still very good but their losses keep them away from the top spot in the NFC.

4 - New England Patriots (LW: 3)

It is absolutely hilarious that they are back this quickly.

5 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 5)

The Ravens might be the most comfortable in chaos of all teams this season, but the problem is that they continually find themselves in the middle of it. Nevertheless they are one of the game’s top teams.

6 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 8)

Who will they be coming out of their bye? We will see on primetime this week.

7 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 6)

You might feel like this is too high for the Cowboys, but take a look at the teams below them in our rankings. It continues to be a week where weird things happen and in Week 12 a number of top squads all lost.

8 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 7)

Like this one.

9 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 14)

The Bills did win, but it is difficult to know what a throttling of the Saints means these days. Buffalo has shown signs of weakness and has yet to earn our trust back in totality.

10 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 9)

Down by 11 points with under a minute left and no timeouts in his pocket, Sean McVay ran the ball on 3rd and 1. Imagine if any other coach did this.

The Rams aren’t exactly great but that isn’t a story that a lot of people want to talk about.

11 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 15)

The Bengals did turn up nicely with a thrashing of the Steelers this past week and in fact swept their division rivals for the first time since 1989. They appear to be headed to the playoffs.

12 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 19)

Hopefully they get hot and we can play hindsight and say that we lost to an awesome team.

13 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 10)

There is no shame in losing to the Buccaneers and the Colts damn near didn’t. It seems like they are going to be playing postseason football.

14 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 18)

Don’t look now, but the 49ers are back and running the ball very well.

15 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 11)

I’ve maintained all season long that the Vikings are better than their record suggests. They could still be a playoff team this year, but losing to San Francisco could prove costly as far as tiebreakers are concerned.

16 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 12)

Just when we start to believe in the Chargers they let us down. Every time.

17 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 13)

It appears that their little mid-season run is over.

18 - Denver Broncos (LW: 27)

On the subject of things that I have said all season, I have been very hard on the Denver Broncos. They might deserve a bit more credit. Sunday was impressive.

19 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16)

The Browns do not deserve any credit. Yikes.

20 - Washington Football Team (LW: 20)

As of now WFT would be a playoff team. What a time to be alive.

21 - New York Giants (LW: 24)

Thank you!

22 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 17)

They seriously lost to the New York Giants with a huge opportunity to keep themselves relevant in the NFC East hanging in the balance. You really do hate to see it.

23 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 22)

The Seahawks had a great run. There is no shame in that. It’s just that it’s over now.

25 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 29)

At least they beat the Jaguars.

25 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 25)

Wins from them just keep on coming. Very nice considering Philadelphia owns Miami’s first-rounder in 2022.

26 - Chicago Bears (LW: 26)

A win here was awesome as well given that the Giants own Chicago’s first-rounder next year. Way to go, Andy Dalton!

27 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 21)

The Cam Newton fun lasted one week before everything turned awful.

28 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 23)

They are very bad. But we do not trust the Cowboys at the moment.

29 - New York Jets (LW: 30)

Slightly better than the Houston Texans.

30 - Houston Texans (LW: 28)

This is awkward.

31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)

Evaluating Trevor Lawrence this season is very difficult. This team is a mess.

32 - Detroit Lions (LW: 32)

They are going to get a win at some point. Right? 8 (LW: 5)

As noted it is difficult to know who anybody is.

The Cowboys have lost three of four after a 6-1 start and feel like a team taking on water. Injuries have played a major role in the slump: Amari Cooper (COVID-19), Tyron Smith (ankle) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion) have all missed time, while Ezekiel Elliott has a lingering knee issue that could limit him the rest of the way. It has made the Dallas attack less formidable, and even the week-to-week excellence of Micah Parsons has been unable to sustain a defense that’s missed DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) and Randy Gregory (calf). The bad news continued to roll in on Monday, when it was learned that coach Mike McCarthy and several others will miss Thursday night’s game against the Saints after entering the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

ESPN: 10 (LW: 5)

Barely inside of the top 10.

Week 6 confidence rating: 9.1

How it’s going now: 7.9

The confidence drop is what happens when you lose three of four games. Good thing the Cowboys don’t play in the AFC West, with losses to Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas. The offense has stagnated, especially the ground game. Defenses have interrupted the pass game with aggressive play outside, which has led to Dak Prescott holding the ball longer.

The Cowboys’ defense has given up too many big plays all season, but now, it can’t come up with key stops and has too many penalties. Greg Zuerlein missed a PAT versus the Raiders, and a 59-yard field goal attempt hit the upright. He needs to be more consistent. All of the good feelings coming out of a Halloween win at Minnesota without Prescott has slowly leaked out of the balloon. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 7 (LW: 5)

Not too far of a drop.

The good news? No more AFC West teams left on the schedule to beat up on Dallas. The bad news? Injuries, a billowing COVID-19 issue that ensnared coach Mike McCarthy on Monday and a short week don’t portend promising start to a three-week streak of road games.

Yahoo: 8 (LW: 5)

Another drop down.

We’ll get to see if the Cowboys’ recent slump is just a byproduct of being without key players on offense. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb should be back this week. The big question might be if Ezekiel Elliott keeps playing through nagging injuries or gets some rest.

CBS Sports: 13 (LW: 12)

This particular outlet dropped the Cowboys significantly after the Kansas City loss. So it isn’t a shock to see the dip not exactly be dramatic this week.

They have lost three of four games and suddenly that Super look is gone. The defense was bad against the Raiders and now must turn it around on the road.

Sports Illustrated: 10 (LW: T-2)

They had a lot of people tied for second last week. It appears that was short-lived.

Offensive line issues crept up on Thanksgiving, as did the receiver shortage. And now they’re going to have to play the Saints without their head coach.

Sporting News: 9 (LW: 8)

Time to right the ship.

The Cowboys tried to beat the Raiders without Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, but by maintaining their pass-reliant ways for Dak Prescott, they are taking themselves out of key run-heavier complementary football that boosts the defense big-time. They have realized that by thinking about resting Ezekiel Elliott ahead of the key stretch run in December.

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