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2023 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: The Dallas Cowboys are trying to prove who they really are

Ranking every team in the NFL entering Week 5.

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NFL: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have played four games this season and for 75% of them have looked like one of the most dominating teams in the entire NFL.

But we cannot just look at that 75%. It is literally the outlier in terms of performances, but the Cowboys still really did go to Arizona only to get humbled by the Cardinals and in the process planted a seed of doubt in our minds that is going to take a while to get over.

However long it takes to potentially move on from the debacle in the desert, it is inarguable that the Cowboys at least took the first step with their 38-3 demolition of the New England Patriots, the biggest loss that Bill Belichick has ever endured throughout his illustrious career.

You can bet your bottom dollar that what we saw in Week 4 will be noticed by people around the world and perhaps more importantly, by the internet!

Where do the Cowboys stack up in this week’s batch of power rankings? We are so glad you asked.

You can see last week’s rankings right here.

1. San Francisco 49ers, 4-0 (LW: 1)

They are the gold standard. Time to make a statement.

2. Buffalo Bills, 3-1 (LW: 5)

I’ve said a few times that I do not believe in the Bills this season and am on the lookout for some crow. While I am not ready to eat it quite yet Buffalo looks tremendous early on.

3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-0 (LW: 3)

Obviously the Eagles are undefeated and while that is a big-sounding word they have not looked great in the process of getting there. Now truthfully being undefeated after four games while not looking great is in and of itself a great thing, but they look gettable right now.

4. Kansas City Chiefs, 3-1 (LW: 4)

Allow me to say that I recognize how Cowboys Fan™️ this sounds, but can you imagine what would have happened if Dak Prescott threw multiple picks against the Jets? KC will stabilize but have a few questions right now. Plus they can run the ball at will which is nice.

5. Dallas Cowboys, 3-1 (LW: 6)

As noted the Cowboys have looked not just good but dominant for 75% of their season so far. Given that this is a majority I am comfortable believing this is who they are and ranking them off of that belief.

6. Baltimore Ravens, 3-1 (LW: 8)

Lamar Jackson is so underrated and it makes no sense to me. The Ravens are down all sorts of players and he is making it work.

7. Miami Dolphins, 3-1 (LW: 2)

Sunday was a come-to-earth moment for them and a reminder that they are still the little brothers of the AFC East. I’d imagine they will be just fine, though.

8. Seattle Seahawks, 3-1 (LW: 7)

It does not feel right to bump the, but sometimes that happens when one team looks particularly good. Either way Seattle looks strong.

9. Detroit Lions, 3-1 (LW: 9)

This might be the take I was most wrong about in the preseason. I did not believe like the masses did in the Lions and look quite foolish now. They are a very well-rounded and efficient operation.

10. Los Angeles Rams, 2-2 (LW: 14)

Are we ready to believe? They may stutter a bit in the process of getting there, but the Rams look like a playoff team.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-2 (LW: 15)

It was nice to see them pick up a win in their honorary home of London. Up next is a huge test in the Bills, though.

12. Tennessee Titans, 2-2 (LW: 21)

The Titans are kind of boring so people tend to overlook them, but all they do is grind out big wins and show up when it matters most. They remain a threat in the AFC as well.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-1 (LW: 17)

I’ll buy some stock. Why can’t they win the NFC South?

14. Green Bay Packers, 2-2 (LW: 10)

Last Thursday night was rough. Perhaps it won’t be smooth sailing after all.

15. Los Angeles Chargers, 2-2 (LW: 16)

They have enormous offensive potential but seem insistent on playing with fire at every turn. Whatever the case they are off this week and two weeks from now we’ll wake up after seeing the Cowboys visit them.

16. Cleveland Browns, 2-2 (LW: 12)

Deshaun Watson is obviously the best quarterback on their roster so not having him makes things difficult. Last week did not go well at all.

17. Houston Texans, 2-2 (LW: 24)

I am all the way in on the Texans and C.J. Stroud. This team is fun.

18. New Orleans Saints, 2-2 (LW: 18)

Maybe things will stabilize and the offense will find its form with Alvin Kamara, but for now it is all so boring and tough to watch.

19. Indianapolis Colts, 2-2 (LW: 19)

Anthony Richardson is incredibly exciting. Hope lives with Colts fans for the first time in a while.

20. Washington Commanders, 2-2 (LW: 22)

There is talent here and they will be difficult for the Cowboys as they have shown a tendency to be, but come on Ron Rivera. How do you not go for the win at the end? That was an all-time bad move.

21. Minnesota Vikings, 1-3 (LW: 26)

While they picked up their first win of the season it was hardly an inspiring effort. There are a lot of talented pieces on the offense but they just can’t hold it all together.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-2 (LW: 11)

The defense is so good. But the offense is so bad. You need both!

23. Arizona Cardinals, 1-3 (LW: 23)

It seems that they will indeed be an interesting team all season long. Who would have thought?!

24. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-3 (LW: 13)

It is officially time to say that something is wrong. Obviously Joe Burrow dealing with a calf injury amplifies whatever issues there are, but this is not a good football team at the moment.

25. New York Jets, 1-3 (LW: 31)

If Zach Wilson can really find a bit of form then they may have hope after all. Time will tell.

26. Denver Broncos, 1-3 (LW: 30)

We are looking at what might be one of the worst defenses of all time.

27. New England Patriots, 1-3 (LW: 20)

Sunday was a tough look for the greatest coach of all time. Oops.

28. Atlanta Falcons, 2-2 (LW: 25)

It is impossible to believe how they refuse to use Kyle Pitts.

29. Las Vegas Raiders, 1-3 (LW: 29)

Playing without your starting quarterback is never easy, but they do nothing well.

30. New York Giants, 1-3 (LW: 28)

The Cowboys offense, defense and special teams plus the Seahawks offense and defense have all scored touchdowns at MetLife Stadium this season while the Giants have not, despite two opportunities. It is bad.

31. Carolina Panthers, 0-4 (LW: 27)


32. Chicago Bears, 0-4 (LW: 32)

Even more gross. 5 (LW: 6)

Back in the top five.

Will Week 3’s head-scratching loss at Arizona end up being an aberration? One bounce-back win doesn’t prove anything, but Dallas thoroughly demolished Bill Belichick and the Patriots in all phases. Even when the Cowboys slightly let their foot off the gas, they were head-and-shoulders better. That’s reassuring. DaRon Bland’s pick-six was such an important play in the game (after he missed a chance at one earlier) because it effectively ended the Patriots’ chances before halftime and sent a message that this defense can indeed soldier on without Trevon Diggs. Plus, even with some OL breakdowns, the offense proved to be efficient and occasionally dangerous against a good Pats defense.

ESPN: 5 (LW: 6)

Same spot here. They also noted their defensive efficiency as well as the biggest issue on that side of the ball.

Defensive efficiency: 85.2 (2nd)

Biggest issue on defense: Run defense

Seems a little harsh to say run defense after it allowed 2.3 yards per carry against the New England Patriots, but it’s run defense. The performance against Arizona in Week 3 still resonates: 222 yards allowed, 180 in the first half, 7.4 yards per carry. The Cowboys know opponents will want to run on them each week, and San Francisco (No. 3 in rushing) is up next, with two games against Philadelphia (No. 2) in the near future. The Cowboys can create takeaways and rush the passer. The best way to neutralize that is to pound the running game. The Cowboys know it and need to remain true to their gap responsibilities. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 4 (LW: 9)

A little bit higher.

Is a pissed off Dak Prescott a better Dak Prescott? He was salty before Sunday’s demolition of New England and again right afterward. Time to see how well he channels all that anger with two consecutive prime-time affairs in California – one against a Niners squad which eliminated Dallas from the playoffs the last two years, and the other against former OC Kellen Moore and the Bolts.

Yahoo: 5 (LW: 6)

Just a small bump up.

I can’t figure out what happened to the Cowboys’ defense in Week 3. In their three wins, they’ve allowed 13 points, an average of 213 yards (75 rushing yards per game) and have forced 10 turnovers. In the loss to Arizona, they allowed 28 points, 400 yards (including 222 yards on the ground) and didn’t force a turnover. No idea what to make of that, but it’ll be interesting to see the Cowboys’ defense against the 49ers in Week 5.

CBS Sports: 5 (LW: 6)

Same story.

That showing against the Patriots was the team we expect to see this season. The defense was special and put the Arizona debacle in the rearview mirror.

The Athletic: 6 (LW: 6)

No movement at all here.

Are we apologizing to Mike McCarthy yet or waiting a little longer? The Cowboys, who are fourth in the league in scoring (31 points per game), are the opposite of the talent-top-heavy 49ers. Six non-quarterbacks had a carry Sunday and 10 players caught a pass.

Sports Illustrated: 5 (LW: 6)

Pretty popular to move the Cowboys up one spot this week.

Another all-encompassing drubbing by this defense, which has had some selectively amazing performances this year. While they were helped by some dismal decisions by Mac Jones—including a scramble near the goal line where he somehow didn’t think one of the league’s best pass rushes wasn’t going to collapse on him and knock the unprotected ball out of his hands—Dallas’s opportunistic style was not just a series of fortunate turnover chunks in 2022. They are complimented by an offense that is undeniably more efficient than it was a year ago. Dak Prescott’s dropback success rate is up nearly 7% from this time a year ago.

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