clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: The Dallas Cowboys own New York and maybe the rest of the league

Ranking every team in the NFL entering Week 3.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Life is good for the Dallas Cowboys as they sit 2-0 through two weeks of regular season play. While we are all of the mindset that Dallas is among the most complete teams across the league right now, there are other squads playing great football as well.

It is funny how in the small amount of time that two weeks is how opinions, goals and expectations can change. Fans of undefeated teams right now are dreaming about endless possibilities while those who have yet to experience a win are already considering mock drafts.

The time has come to lay out the state of the NFL as it is with Week 2 officially behind us. Welcome to this week’s power rankings where we also collect how outlets across the internet have the Cowboys ranked.

You can see last week’s rankings right here.

1 - Dallas Cowboys, 2-0 (LW: 1)

Given that they were number one for me last week and dropped another impressive performance, not much has changed. No one is looking ahead. Bring on the Cardinals and keep the focus there.

2 - San Francisco 49ers, 2-0 (LW: 2)

The Cowboys game there in three weeks already feels epic, and when it comes it is going to be a challenge. San Francisco looks as inevitable as ever. It sucks.

3 - Philadelphia Eagles, 2-0 (LW: 3)

We came into the season believing that Dallas, San Fran and Philadelphia were the class of the NFC and they all currently sit undefeated; however, the reigning conference champions have certainly looked the least formidable. Getting wins is ultimately what counts the most, perhaps the long layoff (the Eagles don’t play until Monday night this week) will do them well.

4 - Miami Dolphins, 2-0 (LW: 4)

Starting off the season with two straight road wins is a great feather in your cap. The Dolphins know how to play up-tempo offense but can also do the dirty work when games require it. I am ready to believe.

5 - Kansas City Chiefs, 1-1 (LW: 5)

As noted above a win is a win, but the Chiefs still do not resemble their most potent selves quite yet. An NFL season is a long and arduous thing so things will likely stabilize, but the Chiefs look like they can be had as far as September goes.

6 - Baltimore Ravens, 2-0 (LW: 7)

Lamar Jackson looks to be finding himself and the Ravens as a whole look to be finding their offensive rhythm. Who would have thought one of the prettiest touchdowns of Week 2 would involve Nelson Agholor?!

7 - Buffalo Bills, 1-1 (LW: 15)

They bounced back after a dreadful Week 1 performance, but the way that Dallas handled the Jets almost left me thinking even less of Buffalo. While they have an ability to play with anyone it is hard to see them being that steady team week in and week out.

8 - Seattle Seahawks, 1-1 (LW: 18)

Perhaps we overreacted too much by completely disregarding them after they dropped the opener to the Rams (especially given how they look, more on that in a bit). Geno Smith remains exactly what they need. Seattle is fun.

9 - Detroit Lions, 1-1 (LW: 6)

There is a lot of talent there, but Sunday provided an opportunity for them to take the next step forward and they unfortunately did not. We will see.

10 - Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-1 (LW: 8)

Similarly, the Jaguars have every reason to believe they should be 2-0 right now, unfortunately they are not. There is a lot to like about this offense and its potential. Again, NFL seasons are long and change a lot.

11 - Cincinnati Bengals, 0-2 (LW: 10)

I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here but starting off 0-2, specifically within your own division, causes the panic alarms to start going off a bit.

12 - Green Bay Packers, 1-1 (LW: 11)

Jordan Love has thrown the most quiet six touchdowns through a season’s first two games maybe ever. It is not a good look to drop a close one like that, but I believe in Green Bay this season.

13 - Los Angeles Rams, 1-1 (LW: 14)

We referenced them up above and they are very much worthy of serious praise. At present time they are operating without Cooper Kupp, but perhaps Matthew Stafford still has a bit left in the tank.

14 - New Orleans Saints, 2-0 (LW: 20)

The offense is really stagnant, but it’s not like any teams across the league have been lighting up the scoreboard. Maybe things stabilize, but either way New Orleans has a very friendly schedule almost all of the way through.

15 - Tennessee Titans, 1-1 (LW: 26)

It is ridiculous how they always find a way to grind out tough wins. Ultimately it feels like they have a pretty obvious ceiling but until it is realized they will keep finding those ways.

16 - Washington Commanders, 2-0 (LW: 17)

Honestly it is impressive how they battled back to win on the road and Sam Howell sort of looks the part as an NFL quarterback. We are still a bit early to elevate their overall status but their interest level is rising.

17 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-0 (LW: 22)

They are certainly in the fight for the least-intimidating 2-0 team although Mike Evans looks as good as ever. Perhaps they can ride this wave one more week and beat the Eagles next Monday night.

18 - Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-1 (LW: 30)

It turns out writing them off after one week may have been a mistake! I’ll admit I was trying to motivate Pittsburgh and things clearly worked. That defense is special.

19 - Atlanta Falcons, 2-0 (LW: 21)

Two wins is impressive although that they have made it here without involving Kyle Pitts to any real degree is the worst kind of impressive. I remain unconvinced.

20 - Cleveland Browns, 1-1 (LW: 9)

The defense is really special, but the quarterback play is so bad. Also I know it is an old storyline by now, but goodness Amari Cooper is so smooth.

21 - Los Angeles Chargers, 0-2 (LW: 12)

Justin Herbert is inordinately talented but at some point everything has to come together. I am a fan of Kellen Moore but wow maybe he really is trying to press too much. When LA received the ball in overtime he tried to fly high and wound up going three and out before the Chargers lost.

22 - Minnesota Vikings, 0-2 (LW: 13)

I’ve reached the point where I can no longer believe that they are able to do this, despite the fact that Kirk Cousins is playing very well. They play the Chargers next week so this will be a true battle of who wants to lose the most.

23 - Las Vegas Raiders, 1-1 (LW: 16)

It is wild how they manage to be so boring each and every year.

24 - New England Patriots, 0-2 (LW: 19)

Of the teams ranked this low they have the highest ceiling in my opinion, but they haven’t put it all together yet. Starting off 0-2 with both at home is also tough.

25 - Indianapolis Colts, 1-1 (LW: 24)

Please let Anthony Richardson be healthy. They can potentially be so much fun especially if Jonathan Taylor does return.

26 - New York Giants, 1-1 (LW: 29)

The Saquon Barkley injury aside, I am in no way impressed with their ability to rally after a 20-0 deficit at the half. This team feels all sorts of shaky.

27 - New York Jets, 1-1 (LW: 23)

They had an understandably long and hard week. Perhaps they can get it turned around now that they have had more time to adjust and gather themselves.

28 - Carolina Panthers, 0-2 (LW: 27)

It was always going to take time. Two games is not enough.

29 - Denver Broncos, 0-2 (LW: 25)

Remember when people said that Sean Payton was a better coach than Mike McCarthy?

30 - Arizona Cardinals, 0-2 (LW: 32)

See you on Sunday.

31 - Houston Texans, 0-2 (LW: 31)

At least C.J. Stroud looks promising.

32 - Chicago Bears, 0-2 (LW: 28)

Justin Fields was supposed to be the answer. Now there are only questions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published without the rankings from outlets across the internet. We’ll update the respective power rankings below once they are available.

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 19th at 10:35am ET with all external rankings 4 (LW: 4)

The 49ers, Chiefs and Eagles remain in front.

The Cowboys have their best scoring margin through two games since the 1970 merger (a whopping +60 points), even better than in the Super Bowl seasons of 1971 and 1995. Defensively, they’re pretty bonkers, forcing seven turnovers and allowing one touchdown in 120 minutes of football. The offense clearly can do more, only converting half its red-zone possessions into touchdowns. But for as many nits as we can pick on that side of the ball, the balance has been good. The physicality has been excellent. The efficiency has been very solid. It’s hard to complain about what Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer have schemed up, even if the passing game has been a little safe with big leads.

ESPN: 2 (LW: 4)

Trailing only San Francisco. The worldwide leader also identified a player on each team with a contract situation to watch and Todd Archer went with CeeDee Lamb.

Player: WR CeeDee Lamb

Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option for 2024 but would like to sign him to an extension sooner rather than later. The price to do so is only going to go up, and they will have Micah Parsons, Dak Prescott and some others to consider signing to extensions as well, which will stress their cap. Lamb has 15 catches for 220 yards in two games this season and is clearly Prescott’s go-to guy. There are six receivers currently making at least $24 million a year, and for the Cowboys to get a deal done now, Lamb’s yearly average will have to be more than that. Maybe a lot more. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 3 (LW: 3)

San Fran and Philly take the top two spots.

Can’t do better than winning your first two games, even if the triumphs came against New York, New York – the overmatched Giants and post-Rodgers Jets. But credit America’s Team, just the fifth in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to score at least 70 points while allowing no more than 10 collectively in its first two outings.

Yahoo: 3 (LW: 4)

Ditto here.

Putting up 382 yards and 30 points on that Jets defense is impressive. We all saw what the Jets did to the Bills’ offense in Week 1. The Cowboys, with their plus-60 point differential, have looked better on both sides of the ball than anyone could have expected through two weeks.

CBS Sports: 2 (LW: 5)

Dallas jumped the Eagles here.

The defense has been dominant in two games. The offense hasn’t been asked to do that much, but when you give up 10 points in two games, it doesn’t need to do much.

The Athletic: 1 (LW: 1)

No movement here obviously, but it is not the 49ers or Eagles trailing the Cowboys. Shout out to the Miami Dolphins!

The offense is the reason the Cowboys stayed in the top spot. After being led by the defense and special teams in Week 1, Dallas’ offense put up 382 yards and 30 points against a Jets defense that was fearsome in Week 1. CeeDee Lamb had 11 catches for 143 yards. If the Cowboys hadn’t kicked four field goals in the red zone, this one would have been gross(er).

Sports Illustrated: 1 (LW: 2)

Another top spot.

Dallas, through two games, has been the most complete team in football and has not flashed any obvious vulnerabilities. While the Jets and Giants are not the truest tests for this defense—Dallas will need to get by many more talented offensive lines if they’d like to win the conference—they treated inferior competition the way one might expect. Just watch the speed at which Micah Parsons is coming into the backfield on a stunt. My goodness. Prescott, in his first game of this season not in a monsoon, completed 81% of his passes against one of the five best defenses in the NFL. There are lots of smart, quick options built in for his convenience. I thought Ceedee Lamb was very close to breaking a 90-some yard touchdown.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys