All of the single digit weeks in the NFL season are officially behind us. Welcome to the land with a 1 in the front of everything!
Hopefully the Dallas Cowboys being on their bye allowed you an opportunity to watch a bunch of stress-free football and cheer on your fantasy teams without having to juggle multiple rooting interests. Dallas is back this week but the NFL did go on while they were off and the league continues to shake itself up.
There appear to be a few tiers in the league what with a handful of teams being at the very top, a couple right behind them, and then a bit of a gap before the rest of the field follows.
As we do every week we have put together our set of power rankings for all 32 NFL clubs and collected how outlets around the internet view the Cowboys to this point in the season.
You can visit last week’s rankings right here. Let’s begin.
1 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2)
We have a new number one. Welcome to the top, Chiefs.
2 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 3)
It sort of felt like they were going to lose to Houston, right?
They did in the World Series!
3 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 1)
The Bills remain one of the best teams in the league, but what a weird thing that both of their losses are within division when they seemed to run it so easily.
4 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 4)
Welcome back. This week is for Mike.
5 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 5)
They seem to be one of the least-respected 7-1 teams in recent memory.
6 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 6)
Monday night was impressive. They continue to be overlooked in the AFC.
7 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 7)
Geno Smith’s team is very much for real. They look like NFC West favorites.
8 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 11)
It is so hard to fully buy in, but the Dolphins offense is giving more and more reasons to.
9 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 12)
A big-time win against the Panthers is nice but last Monday night was still a huge miss. We need to see more.
10 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 8)
It is wild that they were as close as they were on Sunday night with Malik Willis only completing five passes.
11 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 9)
Cannot wait to see Christian McCaffrey in the offense after they had a bye week to prepare and study.
12 - New York Giants (LW: 10)
Last week featured a lot of byes.
13 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 13)
They barely survived against the Falcons and even then almost blew it. Blah.
14 - New York Jets (LW: 15)
Sunday was a huge win for them but they still have questions at the quarterback position.
15 - New England Patriots (LW: 19)
They are 5-4 and have sole possession of last place in the AFC East.
16 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 23)
So... they won. But it was pretty gross.
Still. A win is a win.
17 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 14)
They were so close to closing out the Chargers. They remain a dark horse in the NFC South.
18 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 16)
Everything is so very bad here.
19 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 17)
But everything here is worse.
20 - Chicago Bears (LW: 24)
Do we really believe in what we are seeing from Justin Fields?!
21 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 18)
It is getting late early for the Saints.
22 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 20)
Another bye week team.
23 - Detroit Lions (LW: 29)
It is always a big deal when a team like the Lions can beat the big brother in the division in the Packers. They should feel good about it. They finally took a step forward.
24 - Washington Commanders (LW: 22)
They really chanted “You like that!” at Kirk Cousins only to go on to lose to Kirk Cousins.
25 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 22)
Next week is for Mike McCarthy.
26 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)
They won, but it is hard to take them all too seriously these days.
27 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 25)
This team is a total disaster. What is there to feel good about?
28 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 26)
Baker Mayfield got in the game!
Turns out that did not help much.
29 - Denver Broncos (LW: 27)
What percent chance is there that they will be better after the bye?
30 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 28)
There were A LOT of teams on bye last week.
31 - Houston Texans (LW: 32)
They almost got it done. Darn.
32 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 30)
NFL.com: 4 (LW: 4)
No change here.
As Odell Beckham Jr.’s ACL rehab reaches its final stages, the drumbeat connecting the veteran to the Cowboys will only get louder. NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported last week that Beckham is “firmly” on Dallas’ radar. It’s a marriage that makes too much sense: Beckham is box office (which matters to Jerry Jones), and the Cowboys have a legitimate need at wide receiver beyond CeeDee Lamb. Michael Gallupstill doesn’t look like himself after his own ACL reconstruction. Rolling the dice on Beckham feels inevitable for America’s Team.
ESPN: 5 (LW: 4)
They also listed a non-quarterback MVP for each team.
Non-QB MVP: LB Micah Parsons
Does a backup quarterback count? Cooper Rush did a fine job in going 4-1 during Dak Prescott’s absence ... OK, we kid. Parsons has been a difference-maker every week. He has eight sacks (fourth in the NFL), has returned a fumble for a touchdown and creates favorable matchups for teammates because of the extra attention he receives. And even with that extra attention, he still produces. Parsons has to be on the short list for Defensive Player of the Year so far, and with the bigger games to come, he could cement his spot with more game-changing productivity. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 4 (LW: 4)
Seems to be a mutual admiration society developing between Dallas and free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. However it might be prudent to see how TE Dalton Schultz and WR Michael Gallup look coming out of the bye as America’s Team looks to complete a season sweep of NFC North.
Yahoo: 4 (LW: 4)
One of the bigger stories this week is obviously Mike McCarthy’s return to Green Bay.
The Cowboys play at Green Bay this weekend, which means it’s Mike McCarthy’s return. He tried to play off the emotional aspect of the return but nobody on the planet believes it wouldn’t be extra sweet for McCarthy to beat the Packers and Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.
CBS Sports: 5 (LW: 5)
They come off the bye with a road game against the Packers, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s a Mike McCarthy revenge game.
The Athletic: 4 (LW: 4)
They also listed which trade every team would undo if given the chance. Guess which one they picked for the Cowboys!
Trade recall: Amari Cooper and sixth-round pick Michael Woods for fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko and sixth-round pick Devin Harper (trade with Browns, March)
A trade that looked bizarrely lopsided the day it was made, this is the easy callback for a Cowboys team that could still use more juice in the passing game (see their pursuit of Brandin Cooks at the real trade deadline). Cooper has 39 catches for 553 yards and five touchdowns for the run-heavy Browns offense and ranks 11th among wide receivers with 2.2 yards per route run. Meanwhile, CeeDee Lamb ranks third in the league in the percentage of his team’s targets he’s accounted for (31.6 percent, behind only Cooper Kupp and Hill).
Sports Illustrated: 4 (LW: 6)
Moving on up!
The Cowboys deserve a lot of credit for surviving Dak Prescott’s absence, and they are in prime position to make a run in a weaker NFC. They look capable of going on a playoff run, even if the Eagles force them to do it on the road.