We have finally reached double-digit weeks in the NFL season, but the final round of games before doing so was particularly wild. Week 9 had a number of upsets and shocking results, and unfortunately, that included a frustrating Dallas Cowboys loss.
How do the Cowboys stack up across the rest of the league after getting embarrassed by the Denver Broncos? Where should they be ranked? Every week here at BTB we put together our own power rankings of how the NFL looks at the moment and gather how the rest of the world is viewing America’s Team.
1 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 4)
This is certainly true of me, but also true of a larger population - it is time to stop doubting the Arizona Cardinals. While the 49ers aren’t good, the fact that they were able to handle division rival San Francisco without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins is wildly impressive.
2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 5)
It was a good week to be an NFC contender on bye.
3 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 7)
If the playoffs started today the Titans would be the top seed in the AFC and for good reason. They are playing like the best team in the the conference. Without Derrick Henry.
4 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 13)
There is perhaps no team in the AFC that knows how to thrive in chaos like the Ravens. They just keep stacking wins and that’s all that matters this time of year.
5 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 2)
Of the NFC contenders that lost in Week 9, their loss was the most understandable given the opponent; however, the Rams looked figured out on Sunday. Can they rebound? We’ll see.
6 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 3)
It is difficult to evaluate who the Packers are given that they lost this game without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The reality of the situation is that they are in the middle of a different kind of mess right now and don’t know if Rodgers will play this week against Seattle. Tough times.
7 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 1)
Humble pie has been served and it does not taste good. At all. Time to bounce back.
8 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 15)
Sunday was a big win for Cleveland in that they finally got rid of the talking point surrounding them all week with Odell Beckham Jr. wanting out of there. It always feels good to win when you’re in the middle of that kind of storm. The Browns are back in this.
9 - New England Patriots (LW: 9)
Don’t look now, but the Patriots are playoff contenders in the month of November.
10 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 11)
Wins are hard to get in the NFL and you should always be grateful for them; however, the Chargers barely pulled one out against a lowly Eagles team. They’re in the mix in the AFC West, but how strong of contenders are they really?
11 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 6)
A reminder that it can always be worse.
12 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 14)
They are flawed, but they are finding ways to consistently win. You have to respect it.
13 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 16)
As mentioned wins are precious and something that you should never thumb your nose at. That being said, the Chiefs have won two in a row in about the least inspiring ways possible.
14 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 8)
There is a lot going on with this team. Sunday night against Kansas City is a big moment for them.
15 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 18)
Can the Colts make the playoffs? Sure.
Do we really trust Carson Wentz to do it? No way.
16 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 19)
Russell Wilson is officially back. Let’s see if he can save their season.
17 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 10)
Going into the bye on a two-game losing streak with one of those coming at the hands of the New York Jets is awfully tough cookies.
18 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 25)
There is a world where the Falcons are an NFC Wildcard come playoff time. First, though, the Cowboys will have to take care of them as they look to right the ship.
19 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 12)
Losing Jameis Winston was always going to dramatically change their season and it started on Sunday with a loss to the Falcons. Whether or not Sean Payton can get things back on track remains to be seen.
20 - Denver Broncos (LW: 26)
In no way is this coming from a place of bitterness, but they are not a very good team (which makes Sunday’s loss all the more frustrating). Calling it now, they will lose to Philadelphia in Week 10.
21 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 17)
Their season is over. What a mess.
22 - New York Giants (LW: 29)
To their credit they did what they needed to do and got a win. Unfortunately they’ll be back in primetime next week.
23 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 20)
Kyle Shanahan is the most overrated head coach in the NFL. He specifically designed this season exactly how he wanted it and is coming up short week after week after week.
24 - Chicago Bears (LW: 24)
We are reaching the incredibly predictable point where it seems obvious that Justin Fields has talent but might need a different head coach to help him reach it.
25 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 21)
This season was never going to be about a ton of wins, it was always going to be about growth. DeVonta Smith scored this week to help that idea a little bit.
26 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 22)
27 - New York Jets (LW: 23)
Mike White was denied another moment of glory.
28 - Washington Football Team (LW: 27)
They were on bye which was the only way they could preserve another not-loss.
29 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 28)
They outlasted the Houston Texans which isn’t saying much.
30 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)
How they beat the Buffalo Bills will forever be a mystery.
31 - Detroit Lions (LW: 30)
There is no way that they go winless on the season, right?
32 - Houston Texans (LW: 32)
See ya in 2022.
NFL.com: 5 (LW: 2)
A drop, but not a massive one.
This game will humble you. The Cowboys entered Sunday as a universally recognized superpower in the NFC. The day ended with a blowout loss that was far worse than the 30-16 final score indicated. This was a defeat that summoned bad memories of 2020: The Broncos rushed for 190 yards against a disinterested-looking Dallas defense, while Dak Prescott wasn’t able to eclipse 100 yards passing until there was only 10 minutes remaining on the game clock. The thousands of Broncos fans that invaded AT&T Stadium got their money’s worth: This was a three-hour party at Dallas’ expense. Mike McCarthy’s staff has a clear directive: Study the tape ... then burn it. “Definitely shocked,” Prescott said. “They whooped us in every aspect.”
ESPN: 7 (LW: 5)
The worldwide leader also included a “bold” prediction for each team. Not sure how bold this one is, though.
Bold second-half prediction: Dak Prescott will finish in the top 3 in MVP voting.
Let’s not get carried away with what happened against the Broncos. Leading up to Prescott’s off game, he had thrown at least three touchdown passes in four straight games. He led the NFL in completion percentage and was in the midst of his best season. There’s nothing to say he can’t get back there. He said the last game he felt this way was a 2018 shutout at Indianapolis, and in the following two games he had five touchdown passes and no interceptions and completed 68% of his passes. He also won a playoff game that season. With at least five more prime time or premium games left, Prescott will have the chance to cement his spot in the MVP chase. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 6 (LW: 5)
Only a tiny little bump down.
Highly irregular performance Sunday with zero points through three quarters, a -2 turnover ratio, almost no run game to speak of, and QB Dak Prescott completing fewer than half his passes. Let’s not overanalyze it ... unless y’all want to bring back Cooper Rush?
Yahoo: 5 (LW: 2)
Still inside of the top five.
Of all the weird losses on Sunday, the Cowboys’ loss seems the flukiest. Maybe it’s a sign that the Cowboys are overrated but I highly doubt the offense looks that bad again or Trevon Diggs gets torched for a touchdown by a Tim Patrick-level receiver. Maybe it’s a concern the Broncos’ physical running game was a problem for Dallas’ front seven, but run defense wasn’t a big issue before Sunday. It was just an odd result. Hopefully for Cowboys fans, anyway.
CBS Sports: 8 (LW: 8)
They were more bearish on Dallas last week than anyone else so no drop here.
They looked awful in the loss to the Broncos, beaten in every phase of the game. Let’s call it their season blip and move on to next week.
Sports Illustrated: 9 (LW: 6)
The lowest rankers of the Cowboys this week.
Despite a knockout loss to the Broncos this week, the Cowboys are so far ahead of the field in the NFC East that they are not worried about getting snagged from behind. Dak Prescott remains a marvel at the quarterback position and has one of the highest play-by-play success rates in the NFL. While their defense is not, at this moment, championship caliber, Dallas will be a difficult draw in a talent-rich NFC playoff field.
Sporting News: 7 (LW: 4)
All in all no massive drops anywhere.
What was that? The Cowboys got roped by the Broncos with Dak Prescott looking rusty and the run defense getting dusted. They were overdue for a clunker. Chalk it up to a bad situational day at the office. They won’t take the Falcons lightly next week.