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2022 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: The Dallas Cowboys are an ascending team

Checking in on where the Dallas Cowboys stack up across the NFL.

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NFL: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We have officially reached the month of October and there is only one undefeated team left standing in the National Football League. If they are successful just one more time then they who must not be named (although we’ll name them shortly) could fall for the first time to the Dallas Cowboys. Wouldn’t that be something?

Offenses certainly feel very different early on in this NFL season, but there is still much to come. Through four weeks we have a pretty good idea of who everyone is as the first quarter of things is now in the rearview mirror.

Every week we rank all 32 teams in our own power rankings and collect where outlets across the internet have the Dallas Cowboys ranked as well.

You can visit last week’s rankings right here. Let’s begin.

1 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 1)

They are the aforementioned last undefeated team in the NFL. We will see them in two weeks.

2 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 2)

Falling behind as much as they did is obviously not impressive.

Rebounding the way that they did after doing so is, though.

3 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 4)

Through the early parts of Sunday night they looked like the best team in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes remains unbelievable.

4 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 3)

It is troubling that they have blown two massive leads early on this season, but they have come against would-be playoff teams and, well, they built those leads in the first place. Baltimore will be fine.

5 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 7)

These power rankings reflect them as the second-best team in the NFC. I’m a believer in the Vikings personally, but that description is awfully generous to them.

Who is better, though? The conference is in a weird place.

6 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 8)

As evidenced by the fact that this team struggled with a rookie quarterback on the New England Patriots.

7 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 9)

Getting handled by Kansas City is nothing to be ashamed about, their defense will be fine and Tom Brady showed at certain points that this offense can still put up points. They have risen in my rankings, but who can you comfortably put ahead of them right now? This is a weird season.

8 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 5)

They are in a weird place.

9 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 11)

They are in a phenomenal place! Welcome to the land that nobody thought was possible.

10 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 13)

A win is a win, but they almost sort of blew it against the Houston Texans. We need to see more.

11 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 14)

They might be on the way back up. And the Cowboys win over them in Week 2 continues to look better and better.

12 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 19)

Similar to the Cowboys they are finding ways to win with great defense and just enough offensive play. Did they lay the blueprint against the Rams?

13 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6)

Speaking of! We know that there is a great team here, but can they be that team at any point consistently?

14 - Detroit Lions (LW: 12)

Respect on scoring a billion points, but if you are going to be a playoff team you can’t lose those games. The Lions remain in the little brother category for now.

15 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 15)

Why can’t Kyler Murray and Co. play offense for four quarters?

16 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 16)

The AFC South belongs to them.

17 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 10)

No matter what happens with this team.

18 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 22)

They are better than many thought they would be. But does it really matter?

19 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 17)

Amari Cooper only had one catch for those keeping track.

20 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 26)

They are fun in a “nothing serious is likely going to happen here” sort of way. At least we have that.

21 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 29)

Josh McDaniels’ first win as the Raiders head coach came against the Denver Broncos. Alrighty!

22 - New York Jets (LW: 30)

They have a very obvious ceiling but the group of Zach Wilson, Breece Hall, and Garrett Wilson is at least not the worst football of all time.

23 - New York Giants (LW: 24)

Many asked if they were the worst 2-0 team ever. They might be the worst 3-1 one.

24 - Chicago Bears (LW: 18)

They are flirting with being the worst 2-2 team ever.

25 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 20)

It is honestly amazing that they were even able to round up a win this season. They look terrible.

26 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 21)

The Kenny Pickett is upon us.

27 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 23)

All offseason long the Colts told us that Matt Ryan would save them. They look like one of the very worst offenses in the NFL.

28 - Denver Broncos (LW: 25)

Their offense came alive, but injuries are coming for them now. Times are tough in Denver.

29 - Washington Commanders (LW: 27)

The Washington Commanders have lost every single game they have ever played against the Dallas Cowboys.

30 - New England Patriots (LW: 28)

What a weird time to see them this low.

31 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 31)

At least they scored on the drive where their fans boo’d them.

32 - Houston Texans (LW: 32)

Blah. 13 (LW: 13)

No movement here.

It felt like the Cowboys were doomed when Dak Prescott went down with a Week 1 thumb injury that required surgery. Instead, Dallas finds itself riding a three-game win streak, thanks in large part to a defense that’s been close to dominant. The Cowboys have given up a single touchdown in each of their four games, taking the pressure off Cooper Rushand allowing the backup QB to play in a controlled environment with a positive game script. Rush has taken that nice setup and run with it, building chemistry with CeeDee Lamb and immediately finding a connection with Michael Gallup — playing in his first game since suffering a torn ACL in January — in Sunday’s win over the Commanders. There’s no question this remains Dak’s job, but there’s no need to rush him back when you’ve got ... Rush.

ESPN: 11 (LW: 16)

Some movement!

Defensive efficiency: 60.8

League rank: 10th

The biggest issue on defense is ... stopping the run.

This might be a minor quibble given how well the unit is playing as a whole. The Cowboys have not allowed 20 points in a game yet and have allowed just one touchdown in each game. But when the players say they still need to get better, slowing the run is their biggest must. They are allowing 5 yards per carry and have given up 20 runs of 10 yards or more in four games, including two runs of at least 33 yards in the past two games. With a team that runs the ball as effectively as the Eagles in their division, the Cowboys have to get better. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 9 (LW: 10)

Back to back weeks inside the top 10.

Cooper Rush is the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first four starts while exceeding a 90.0 passer rating in each of them. (Incidentally, before we ship him out, worth noting Dak Prescott lost his initial NFL start before winning the next 11. His QB rating during that rookie hot streak was 114.3.)

Yahoo: 8 (LW: 12)

Top 8!

The Cowboys are 3-0 since Dak Prescott got hurt. No, this is not a “Cooper Rush should be the QB” statement, because that’s nonsensical. But it probably paves the way for Rush to have a long career as an expensive backup, and it’s setting Dallas up very well for when Prescott returns. The Eagles are fantastic but the NFC East race isn’t over.

CBS Sports: 8 (LW: 13)


Cooper Rush has done a great job in place of Dak Prescott as the Cowboys have won three straight. The defense is carrying the team.

The Athletic: 12 (LW: 17)

They also defined “what they are” for every team.

What they are: Fierce up front.

The Cowboys lead the league in pressure rate (41.7 percent, per TruMedia). If you’re inclined to question a subjective measure like that, as we all should be, they have also hit the quarterback on 36 of 157 dropbacks, per TruMedia, good for a league-best 22.9 percent clip. Bob Sturm has more on the Dallas defense.

After things looked dire following Dak Prescott’s Week 1 injury, the Cowboys are all of a sudden loaded with a potentially elite defense and a returning quarterback just in time for a Week 6 showdown in Philadelphia with big division implications.

Sports Illustrated: 7 (LW: 13)

The highest ranking for the Cowboys this week.

While it was absolutely stunning to see the Commanders handing Cooper Rush the intermediate portions of the field on Sunday, the truth is that Kellen Moore and Mike McCarthy have been dealing throughout this period without Dak Prescott. This has been McCarthy’s finest head coaching stretch in years, when he needed it the most.

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