The Dallas Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL... in May, on paper. What matters the most is how you fare throughout the fall and winter. Rankings and projections are fun but nobody ever won the Super Bowl because somebody said that they would during the summer.
None of this is said to diminish the value of rankings and projections because they certainly have their place. We can look at educated guesses and estimations as to what teams like the Dallas Cowboys will accomplish in a given season and then hope that things play out along those lines.
That is what we are doing here.
The Cowboys are among the teams with the best chance to win the Super Bowl according to ESPN’s Football Power Index
There is no shortage of analysis when it comes to the NFL these days, and within that no shortage on ways to rank and/or sort teams throughout it.
One popular method of evaluation is ESPN’s Football Power Index. This year’s rankings debuted on Monday and they have the Cowboys listed as a top 10 team.
ESPN's Football Power Index is out!— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) May 22, 2023
Why the Chiefs are No. 1 but not Super Bowl favorites, close divisions, the Jets at 6 (!), the Cardinals chances at the No. 1 pick and more: https://t.co/K5iPP9AtjJ pic.twitter.com/d6mYiqOVBa
The Cowboys are actually in a bit of a gridlock with both the Los Angeles Chargers (hello Kellen Moore) and Miami Dolphins so you could even look at this exercise a bit more differently if the Cowboys were ahead of L.A. in alphabetical order.
This methodology (as ESPN puts it) relies “substantially” on win totals from Caesars Sportsbook and strength of schedule while including factors like past team performance and returning starters. Given those qualifiers it is easy to see how the Cowboys are among the top-level teams.
But what is notable here is that while the Cowboys are eighth by FPI rankings, they actually have better shots to win the Super Bowl, a benefit of being in the weaker conference at the moment that is the NFC.
Best chance to win the Super Bowl according to ESPN’s FPI
- Philadelphia Eagles, 14%
- Kansas City Chiefs, 13%
- San Francisco 49ers, 11%
- Buffalo Bills, 9%
- Cincinnati Bengals, 9%
- Dallas Cowboys, 7%
Of the teams in the top 12 as far as chances to win the Super Bowl (there are six listed here) there are only four in total and you can see three of them. The Detroit Lions come in at number 7 with a 4% chance (the New York Jets also have a 4% chance).
As noted up top, this means nothing in the ultimate measurement of who actually does win the Super Bowl. Being as high on this list as the Cowboys are offers them no tangible benefits.
While that is true, this does continue to highlight the opportunity in front of the Cowboys with a very talented team that will avoid the gauntlet that is the AFC. At the risk of sounding dramatic, if it isn’t going to happen now with all of these factors working the Cowboys way... when is it?