We are three weeks into the NFL season which means we have a somewhat legitimate sample size to determine who each team is as September comes to a close. Some of the things that we anticipated have come to fruition, while others have surprised us in different sorts of ways. Would-be contenders are both rising and falling while some teams are already looking like they need to focus on the 2022 NFL Draft.
How do we see the entire league shaping up as Week 4 begins and where do the Cowboys fall within it? Here are our power rankings along with how the rest of the internet is evaluating the Cowboys.
You can visit our rankings from last week right here. Let’s begin.
1 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 2)
At present time they look like the best team in the NFL. The Matthew Stafford Experience is a prosperous one.
2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 1)
Eventually everyone has to lose and that day happened for Tampa Bay last weekend. They are still a force to be reckoned with and could get a chance at revenge against the Rams in the playoffs.
3 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 4)
It would have been nice to see them win with a little bit more authority in Jacksonville, but the Cardinals offense can take off on a whim because of Kyler Murray. It will be fascinating to see if they can keep this up.
4 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 6)
They won’t play the Bears every week but maybe they don’t need to. That run game and defense can go a long way.
5 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 5)
I’m not exactly a non-believer in the Raiders, but like many I want to see them do it against a division rival. Seeing them visit the Chargers next week will be fun.
6 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 3)
They have stuck around this high a little bit off of respect, but there are real problems here. Kansas City is more than gettable for other NFL teams. They are playing with a level of recklessness that is troublesome.
7 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 11)
It appears that Buffalo was asleep at the wheel in Week 1, but they look a little bit back now. Watch out.
8 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 10)
They look like a team that can contend with the very best in the league right now. They literally did that in Week 1 and were totally successful at doing it in Week 2. What’s more is they won their statement game on Monday night. Now is the time to build momentum.
9 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 13)
The way that Brandon Staley handled the end of their win in Kansas City is still suspect, but a win is a win. Could they possibly win the AFC West altogether?
10 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 14)
Unfortunately they might be back and what’s worse is that they have a very friendly schedule for the next five weeks. Blah.
11 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 12)
There are no challengers for them in their own division and they are starting to pick up steam. Can they be a serious threat in the AFC?
12 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 9)
It feels unfair to drop them after a win, especially an epic one, but Baltimore almost lost to the Lions. You can’t always pull off the ridiculous miracles. Hollywood Brown needs to work on the drops.
13 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 7)
There is only one more offense in the entire NFL more trapped by their quarterback. We’ll get to that later.
14 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 15)
Undefeated is undefeated, but the Panthers have played some low-quality teams. Being down Christian McCaffrey and Jaycee Horn isn’t going to help.
15 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 16)
There are so many teams that are still difficult to figure out. New Orleans certainly falls in that group.
16 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 8)
Perhaps this is finally the year where things fall apart for them with Russell Wilson. Back-to-back blown leads is a tough look.
17 - Denver Broncos (LW: 18)
Like the Panthers, I just don’t see it. The teams they have beaten are a combined 0-9!
18 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 24)
They are so much better than a 1-2 record would indicate. They are lurking and might stabilize in just a bit.
19 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 28)
What a huge win for them within the division. In fact they currently lead the AFC North. With a chance against the Jaguars on Thursday night they might very well get to 3-1.
20 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 17)
This is the offense most trapped by their quarterback. It isn’t looking good for the Steelers.
21 - New England Patriots (LW: 19)
It always seemed like they were going to figure things out in this new era, but that just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe they will just continue to flounder.
22 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 23)
They were impressive in an overtime loss. Unfortunately their record isn’t what they want it to be and this is an important season to prove that what they’ve been doing will yield results.
23 - Washington Football Team (LW: 20)
Their mighty defense surrendered over 390 yards of total offense just three times in 2020. That has happened in each of their three games this season.
24 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 21)
Shout out to Nick Sirianni.
25 - Detroit Lions (LW: 29)
A jump this much after a loss is rare, but Dan Campbell’s team clearly is buying into his message a bit. The Lions will lose a lot but they have fight.
26 - Chicago Bears (LW: 22)
Things are so bad and gross. Blah.
27 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 25)
Double blah. But thank you for beating the Giants.
28 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 26)
At what point do they sit Carson Wentz so as not to lose a first-round pick?
29 - Houston Texans (LW: 27)
There is some spunk here, but it is in no way enough.
30 - New York Giants (LW: 31)
By far the worst offense in the NFL in terms of ones that have talent on paper.
31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32)
It turns out the NFL is more difficult than college football.
32 - New York Jets (LW: 30)
NFL.com: 14 (LW: 17)
Some remain unconvinced.
The Cowboys look like the best team in the NFC East — and it’s not particularly close right now. America’s Team had its way with the Eagles on Monday Night Football, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back in a 41-21 win at Jerrah World. How lopsided was this matchup? The ‘Boys had a 19-1 advantage in first downs by the end of the first half. Dak Prescott continues to play like a legitimate MVP candidate, and big performances by running back Ezekiel Elliott (116 total yards, two TDs), tight end Dalton Schultz (6/80/2) and emerging cornerback Trevon Diggs (game-sealing pick-six) have Dallas cutting the profile of a legitimate power player in the NFC.
ESPN: 14 (LW: 13)
You are not misreading. The worldwide leader actually dropped the Cowboys this week.
The fact that Dak Prescott has started the season as well as he has is only somewhat surprising, what with all the time missed after suffering the ankle injury in October and then in training camp because of a latissimus strain. In his first game in 11 months, he threw for more than 400 yards. In his second game, he completed better than 85% of his passes. In his third, he completed 21 of 26 passes and threw for three touchdowns. He has shown no rust or ill effects from either injury early in the season, which is a plus for the Cowboys, because as Prescott goes, they will go. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 8 (LW: 10)
Finally some proper respect.
CB Trevon Diggs is on pace to pick off 17 balls this year ... which would be a new regular-season record. Dallas is also on pace to reclaim the NFC East crown coming off a dominant Monday night win.
Yahoo: 15 (LW: 20)
It’s starting to feel like the Cowboys might be a rare team with two 1,000-yard rushers. There’s no reason for Dallas to scale back Tony Pollard, and Ezekiel Elliott is still just fine.
CBS Sports: 16 (LW: 16)
No movement at all. It really is strange.
They looked like the best team in the NFC East in their rout of the Eagles. They just might run away with the division.
Sports Illustrated: 13 (LW: 16)
At least this is positive movement.
Don’t believe I’m out on a major limb here. But I saw Dak Prescott play in Tampa, and I watched him again against the Eagles on this Monday night. He looks, to me, like he’s fully recovered from the broken ankle he suffered last season, along with everything else we covered in our NFL Preview cover story. The Cowboys offense is as scary as I expected it to be, even as we’re seeing Tony Pollard take Ezekiel Elliott’s job in real time. And yet, the Cowboys D still would concern me if I were a member of their fanbase. Dan Quinn has made improvements. He will continue to. But the question with Dallas remains: is this a Super Bowl offense? Or a Super Bowl team? I’d lean toward the former, for now.
Sporting News: 13 (LW: 12)
I’ve dropped teams that won myself, but they are generally not teams that won with authority. This is weird.
The Cowboys don’t need to worry about Washington or the Giants being threats in the NFC East. So they need to focus on taking care of the Eagles to prove they’re back as the division favorites with the Dak Prescott advantage.