Welcome to the final days of September, a land where the Dallas Cowboys are among the better teams in the NFL record-wise (the ultimate metric). This all seemed impossible in what feels like 10 minutes ago, but to Dallas’ credit they have buckled down and put together a winning streak through the third week of the season.
There is plenty of credit to hand out and good times to be shared, but we must continue to march forward. Where do the Cowboys stack up against the rest of the league? How does the rest of the world view America’s Team?
We have all of the answers for you in the latest edition of our power rankings here at Blogging The Boys.
You can visit last week’s rankings right here. Let’s begin.
1 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 3)
It is unfortunate how good they look. But it is worth mentioning that the last time they started 3-0 (which they have done this season) they missed the playoffs and the Cowboys won the division.
2 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 1)
If there is one team who I’m willing to forgive for a weird performance it is Buffalo. They have shown how good they are to the point that I am willing to extend some benefit of the doubt.
3 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 8)
Obviously they lost to the Dolphins last week, but the Ravens look like one of the most unstoppable offenses in the NFL right now and right now’s NFL doesn’t have a lot of formidable offenses period.
Lamar Jackson is going to get paid.
4 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2)
Sunday’s loss to the Colts was so bad that it should count twice. But Andy Reid typically finds a way out of messes. It is time to let Patrick Mahomes be Patrick Mahomes.
5 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 5)
The Dolphins have been incredible and I want to give them their props, but they won a game after being out-gained by 275 yards on Sunday. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen.
Actually it has happened twice in the last 16 years. The Dolphins have won both of those games (2020 and on Sunday) while the other 106 instances were all losses.
6 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 7)
It kind of feels like they are back, but more than anything it feels like the NFC is extremely wide open.
7 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 11)
If Kirk Cousins had thrown a game-winning touchdown in any window other than the early one, people would have lost their minds.
8 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 6)
Obviously they won, but they did not exactly look impressive doing so. At least not as impressive as the seven teams ahead of them.
9 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 4)
They were down a bunch of wide receivers, but their offense has yet to look anything impressive.
10 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 22)
Their two wins are against some pretty fraudulent teams in the Colts and Chargers. But Trevor Lawrence may have arrived.
11 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 20)
The fact that the Cowboys are finding ways to pick up wins is extremely impressive. Sure the opponents are a bit lower-quality, but this NFL season isn’t exactly full of elite contenders. You can poke holes in just about every team’s wins so far across the league.
12 - Detroit Lions (LW: 19)
Last year was all about the Lions playing above expectations. They are obviously not a contender yet, but they have earned the right to have actual expectations and they blew a huge chance for a big win last week.
13 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 9)
Justin Herbert was hurt, but isn’t Brandon Staley supposed to be a defensive specialist? How do his Chargers allow 38 points? And why did he have Herbert in the game down by that margin late?
14 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 25)
You have to take one step forward in order to start moving in the right direction. Cincinnati has taken that first step.
15 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 10)
When they are operating at their peak they can be one of the best offenses in the NFL. The problem is that this happens so infrequently.
16 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 27)
Good for them for not starting off 0-3. Like the Bengals they took a much-needed step forward. Now it is time to build on that.
17 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 26)
They clearly have some limitations, but Amari Cooper looks great.
18 - Chicago Bears (LW: 29)
They have got to be one of the worst 2-1 teams in the history of the NFL. Unfortunately for them, Justin Fields does not look like he has made any kind of progress so far in year two.
19 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 12)
It is unbelievable that so many people thought they would be better with Jimmy Garoppolo. What is 100% believable is how the 49ers could not find a trade partner for him over the offseason.
20 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 13)
They are in London this week. Maybe that will help.
21 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 14)
We want to see Kenny Pickett!
22 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 28)
They are a crazy sequence against the Saints away from being 2-1. Maybe they are not so bad after all. But please start involving Kyle Pitts!
23 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 31)
Congratulations to them on defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, but this offense is still pretty gross.
24 - New York Giants (LW: 16)
Hope that ride back down to earth was fun.
25 - Denver Broncos (LW: 18)
This is what I believe to be the worst 2-1 team in the history of the NFL. Russell Wilson looks terrible.
26 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 15)
His old team isn’t looking great either, though.
27 - Washington Commanders (LW: 17)
Looking forward to this Sunday!
28 - New England Patriots (LW: 21)
They have been fairly rudder-less since Tom Brady left, but they have managed to keep the ship afloat since then. Things might be finally falling apart.
29 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 24)
They have done a lot of things to be all in so being 0-3 is not exactly a good sign.
30 - New York Jets (LW: 23)
Welcome back, Zach Wilson?
31 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 32)
This was quite the week for coaches with something to prove.
32 - Houston Texans (LW: 30)
NFL.com: 13 (LW: 21)
Moving in the right direction.
The Cowboys are winning games, and Cooper Rush has been a major reason why. The backup quarterback, inserted into the starting lineup after Dak Prescott’s Week 1 thumb injury, has done excellent work in back-to-back wins over the Bengals and Giants. Rush was at his best down the stretch on Monday night, completing 12 of 13 passes on consecutive drives in the second half. The go-ahead touchdown, a perfect dart of a corner end-zone strike to CeeDee Lamb, couldn’t have been thrown better by Dak himself. Not bad for a guy who was cut at the end of training camp and left unclaimed by 31 other teams.
ESPN: 16 (LW: 21)
They also ranked quarterbacks across the league, but this feels a tad low. Especially considering that the Broncos were at number 12.
Team QBR: 58.0
QBR rank: 10th
Dak Prescott has played only three-plus quarters after fracturing his right thumb in the season opener against Tampa Bay, and it wasn’t a productive three-plus quarters. But he could be back as soon as this week (though likely it will be at least one more), which will benefit the offense. Cooper Rush has done what you want out of a backup quarterback. He led the Cowboys to two wins — vs. Cincinnati and at the NFC East rival Giants. In three weeks, he has thrown for 514 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. But this is Prescott’s job as soon as he is healthy. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 10 (LW: 16)
The stars showed up Monday night for the guys wearing the stars, and QB2 Cooper Rush ran his career record to 3-0. Sounds like Dak Prescott better get back soon before this quarterback controversy owner Jerry Jones contrived manifests into reality.
Yahoo: 12 (LW: 20)
Dallas could have been in some real trouble without Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush has filled in well and the Cowboys are 2-0 in his starts. He got a big assist from CeeDee Lamb in the fourth quarter on Monday night, and from a defense that is relentless. The Eagles aren’t out of the woods in the NFC East yet. The Cowboys’ Week 1 loss seems like a long time ago.
CBS Sports: 13 (LW: 19)
A little further back.
Getting to 2-1 with Dak Prescott out with injury is a good thing for this team. Cooper Rush has played well in his place. Good defense has helped.
The Athletic: 17 (LW: 25)
Now this definitely feels harsh.
Is this something? Lou Gehrig. Gary Cooper. Cooper Rush.
Has Dak Prescott been Wally pipped? It sounds ridiculous, but since relieving Prescott in Week 1, Rush has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 6.9 yards per attempt, two touchdowns, no interceptions and 0.02 EPA per dropback. Prescott, in his appearance this season, completed only 48.3 percent of his passes for 4.6 yards per attempt, no touchdowns and an interception. Rush is getting rid of the ball quicker, taking fewer sacks and hasn’t lost!
OK, we’re kidding. But Rush, and more importantly a defense with the second-highest pressure rate in the league, has more than kept the Cowboys afloat in Prescott’s absence.
Up next: vs. Washington, Sunday 1 p.m. ET
Sports Illustrated: 13 (LW: 21)
The Cowboys gave up first downs on three of the Giants’ first four third-down attempts. After that? Nada on the next seven. Dan Quinn and Micah Parsons could end up being one of the best pass rush-coordinator duos of our time.