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Dallas Cowboys roster power ranking: Week 1

Let’s figure out who will be the MVP for the Cowboys in 2023.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys roster power ranking is back with a vengeance! When the season ended in 2022, Micah Parsons became the No. 1 player on the list based on the vector voting scale. The system will be the same. Each week, the top seven players from the game will be ranked.

The Rules:

Depending on how the Cowboys perform, there could be the same names every week or seven different ones. It won’t be based on just the best players on the roster. This way (*spoiler alert), it gives a player like Juanyeh Thomas a chance to make the list if he impacts the game.

There are many names to pick for a dominating 40-0 shutout pitched by Dallas in New York, but we’ll try our best. Here are the top seven players from Week 1.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

7. Juanyeh Thomas, S

The Cowboys sidelining Donovan Wilson for another week to get healthy with his calf injury opened the door for Thomas’ NFL debut. The second-year safety carried over his production from the preseason into the season opener in highlight fashion. Thomas blocked the field goal attempt on the Giants’ opening drive, ending in a scoop and score for Dallas.

Outside of his special teams ability, Thomas looked great in coverage and was a sure tackler against running back Saquon Barkley. Even with Wilson at full go in a few weeks, expect Thomas to keep having a role on defense.

6. Markquese Bell, LB/S

The spot was originally going to go to Tony Pollard, but we know how great of a running back Pollard is. We didn’t know what Markquese Bell would be like as a linebacker heading into this game. Just like Thomas—he delivered in a big way.

After the season-ending injury to DeMarvion Overshown, the Cowboys became thin at linebacker. After releasing former fourth-round pick Jabril Cox, Dallas decided to go heavy at safety, but with Bell being repositioned as a linebacker.

The former Florida A&M Rattler showed instincts and conviction the Cowboys could desperately need at the position. Once again, Dan Quinn knows more than everyone else regarding his players, especially Bell and his team-leading eight tackles.

5. Tyron Smith, LT

Already coming into the game with a minor ankle injury, Tyron Smith performed like the player fans are used to seeing in his first game back at left tackle.

Smith had not taken a snap at that spot since the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021. There was little to no rust as the ol’ veteran, who Pro Football Focus said didn’t allow a single pressure during the game.

Tyron Smith’s health will remain a question throughout the season, but he certainly held his own against one of the better defensive lines in the league.

We discussed this overall idea on the latest episode of The Writer’s Block on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcasts so that you do not miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

4. Osa Odighizuwa, DT

The real football nerds already knew how impactful Osa Odighizuwa has been for the Dallas defense since his rookie season. On Sunday night, the country now knows how good a player he is.

Odighizuwa recorded four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits. Some of his best work came on twist stunts with Micah Parsons, where the offensive line became so focused on No. 11 that it opened the door for a free rush by No. 97.

The Cowboys drafted Mazi Smith in the first round, but that shows how deep they are at the defensive tackle position. If Odighizuwa can keep building momentum like this, there could be a Pro Bowl nomination in the future.

3. Zack Martin, RG

Zack Martin can miss all of training camp and still look like his All-Pro self in Week 1. Martin was outstanding against his All-Pro counterpart, Dexter Lawrence, and was the reason for many big runs by Pollard to the right side. Even though the inclement weather caused some hiccups for the offense, Martin held his own and showed that he was worth every penny of his restructured contract.

The Cowboys will be playing some of the NFL’s best defensive tackles, and a big test will be next week against New York Jets All-Pro Quinnen Williams. Having Martin on the right side eases that stress level.

2. Stephon Gilmore, CB

What a debut for the 12-year veteran cornerback. Stephon Gilmore has been everything and more since arriving in Dallas over the offseason. His work ethic and mentorship are a bonus to his play on the field.

Gilmore was targeted eight times and allowed three receptions for 36 yards, most of which came on one reception from tight end Darren Waller. He also recorded two pass breakups and an impressive interception.

A glaring need for the Cowboys down the stretch was the second cornerback position after Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis went down with injuries. Having a healthy Gilmore gives them a much better corner on the outside who they can rely on down in and down out.

1. Micah Parsons, DE

The Lion continues to be a menace for the New York Giants. He recorded one sack on the night but was relentless in pressuring Daniel Jones in the pocket.

The offensive line had no answers for Parsons, allowing other players like Dorance Armstrong, Odighizuwa, Dante Fowler, and DeMarcus Lawrence to feast. According to Next Gen Stats, Parsons recorded four pressures and a sack on 18 pass rushes in the first half, while being double-teamed on half of his pass rushes. All four of Dallas’ first-half sacks came when Parsons was doubled.

The full-time defensive end looks towards finally locking up an award for Defensive Player of the Year on his way to a record-setting extension in the future. Well, he’s way ahead of schedule with a start like on Sunday night.

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