We have reached Thanksgiving week and that means a little something different to those of us who allow the Dallas Cowboys to impact our emotional state and well-being. Dallas playing on Turkey Day is just a standard part of the holiday for us and one that we all look forward to every year.
This year the Cowboys will host the New York Giants on Thanksgiving and the last time that they did that they won the Super Bowl (no big deal). If Dallas is able to pick up a win then they can kick their feet up and relax until Sunday Night Football next week when they host the Indianapolis Colts. This means that Dallas could put an 8-3 record up and watch everybody else around the league move up, down, or wherever they choose.
How does that league look right now? With the serious part of the season approaching, who are the top contenders? As always we have assembled our power rankings for the week here at BTB and collected how different outlets feel about America’s Team.
You can visit last week’s rankings right here. Let’s begin.
1 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1)
They needed a touchdown late and on the road against a division rival only to see Patrick Mahomes pull it off with the highest level of ease. It is their world and he is this season’s MVP.
2 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 3)
How do you almost lose to the Colts? Philadelphia is still a very good team but it seems like they are taking on water.
3 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 6)
It is important to note that nothing serious is won during the week of Thanksgiving, but the Cowboys are starting to look like one of the more formidable teams throughout the entire league. Sunday’s win was a huge statement. Consider that Dallas climbed into number two in Overall Team DVOA and now trails only the Buffalo Bills in that department. The arrow is pointing up.
4 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 4)
While they were off last week that allowed them to not un-impress us the way that other teams did.
5 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 5)
Last week brought with it extraordinary circumstances for this Bills team and they played like they were a bit impacted by all of the changes. They haven’t looked like the totally dominant version of themselves that we have seen a lot this season in a bit, but it is difficult to bet against them.
6 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 2)
Do not let this past week force you to believe that the Vikings are some sort of frauds. They are a very good team and ran into a buzzsaw last week.
7 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 8)
This is far and away the team I least want to see the Cowboys play in the playoffs.
8 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 7)
Sunday was a tough game for them but they rank number three overall in DVOA that we just referenced. Baltimore has such a high ceiling that it is difficult to believe they will be the team that struggled against Carolina on a weekly basis.
9 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 11)
Nobody is saying that the Steelers are amazing but they remain a division rival of the Bengals. For Cincinnati to beat them and put up so much offense without their top weapon in the fold is highly impressive. Do not count them out.
10 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 12)
They cannot be overlooked and will provide a tough test for the Cowboys in late December.
11 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 10)
Let us see how they look out of the bye.
12 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 13)
If they can figure it out then they could be a problem.
13 - New York Giants (LW: 9)
We will see you on Thursday.
14 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 15)
Justin Herbert executed an amazing drive that helped them take the lead late in the game... but then what happened? This team cannot have a great quarterback and constantly find ways to ruin that. They need help.
15 - Washington Commanders (LW: 19)
Do we think they are going to the playoffs?!
16 - New England Patriots (LW: 17)
What a weird win last week.
17 - Detroit Lions (LW: 21)
Dan Campbell’s group has now won two straight games on the road when they had never done so before. They are finally starting to be a cute team that can provide some fun moments.
18 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 14)
They look so very bad.
19 - New York Jets (LW: 16)
The vibes are very bad here.
20 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 18)
Are we all now willing to believe that they went all out for their game against Mike McCarthy? It certainly feels that way.
21 - Chicago Bears (LW: 20)
Justin Fields is great, but he has absolutely no help. If they have to play without him for any stretch it likely will not go well.
22 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 22)
That defense is something.
23 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 28)
It is so hard to figure the Falcons out. Are they kind of good? Can they run the ball? Why did they refuse to really use Kyle Pitts before he got hurt?
24 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 23)
They showed a lot of fight against the Bengals but just do not have enough to outlast the better teams.
25 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 25)
A win against the Rams is hardly anything to be proud of but thankfully they picked up a win and worsened Philadelphia’s first-round pick.
26 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 24)
Awful. Terrible. Disaster.
27 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 29)
If they had ANYTHING going on at quarterback they would have beat the Eagles easily.
28 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 26)
We will see how they look after their own bye.
29 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 31)
Kudos on beating the Broncos. That is a huge accomplishment.
30 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 27)
These are tough times for the Panthers right now.
31 - Denver Broncos (LW: 30)
How can Russell Wilson be this far along in his NFL career and not know that he can’t throw the ball away and stop the clock on third down when they are trying to end the game?
32 - Houston Texans (LW: 32)
NFL.com: 3 (LW: 8)
Welcome to the top three.
That is what you call a certified Statement Game. The Cowboys went up to Minneapolis and lit up the Vikings in a 40-3 win that put the whole of the NFC on notice and buried the disappointment of the previous week’s defeat to the Packers. Dak Prescott was sharp, the defense was dominant, Brett Maher drilled a 60-yard field goal (two, really), and Tony Pollard once again reminded us we are living in a post-Zeke world when talking about the most important player in the Dallas backfield. Up next is a Thanksgiving date with a Giants team that should be nervous about getting the Cowboys at this moment.
ESPN: 5 (LW: 9)
Not quite as big of a leap here.
What/who is underachieving? Run defense
After allowing more than 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games against the Lions and Packers, the Cowboys were much better against Minnesota, giving up just 73 yards. But for the season, the run defense has been lacking. The Cowboys have allowed at least 117 yards in seven games and have given up 43 runs of 10 yards or more. With Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Travis Etienne Jr., Miles Sanders and Dameon Pierce remaining on the schedule, the run defense will be tested. If the defense truly wants to be elite, it will have to stand up to the test. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 4 (LW: 6)
A higher slot here.
They’ve got the NFL’s best pass rusher (LB Micah Parsons), top RB duo (Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard) and might soon add WR Odell Beckham Jr. What was already a really good team could be one of the few elevating its potential with postseason drawing closer – as evidenced by Dallas’ most dominant road win in franchise history Sunday in Minnesota against a team that had sported the league’s best record.
Yahoo: 3 (LW: 7)
Another top 3 appearance.
When the Cowboys get their pass rush going like they did against Minnesota, they have an argument as the best team in football, or close to it. Had the Eagles not pulled off that win against the Colts, we might be having an interesting conversation about the NFC East. That conversation still might happen before the Cowboys host the Eagles on Dec. 24.
CBS Sports: 6 (LW: 8)
The Tennessee Titans rank number five.
They went to Minnesota and blew out the Vikings. The defense simply dominated. Now they have the Giants on a short week at home, which is a big division game.
The Athletic: 4 (LW: 8)
They also listed what every team should be thankful for what with the holiday.
Thankful for: The best pass rush in the league
The Cowboys have a lot to be thankful for after a dominant 40-3 win in Minnesota that showcased why they have as high an upside as any team in the league. Dak Prescott looks great and Tony Pollard has finally been allowed to fully shine. But the Cowboys’ pass rush is why they’ll be such a feared opponent come playoff time. Micah Parsons made an early play that started the snowball downhill, culminating in a single-game pressure rate of 60 percent, according to Pro Football Focus — the highest rate in a game this season. The Cowboys lead the league in pressure rate, sacks and quarterback hits. Watch out.
Sports Illustrated: 2 (LW: 8)
Well hello there! The Kansas City Chiefs are number one if you are curious.
The Cowboys are a multiple defense that is on the same page right now. They are healthy, deep with playmaking talent and can score against any opponent. If we’re looking seriously at deep playoff run potential, Dallas has all the necessary components (run game, quarterback efficiency, pass rush stars and an aggressive, shape-shifting secondary) to succeed. The Cowboys are one spot ahead of the Bills right now because Josh Allen seems a bit limited as he deals with a right elbow issue.