It took three weeks for the Dallas Cowboys to be humbled in 2023. The Dallas Cowboys are 2-1 through three games for the third year in a row, and if the past two seasons are any indication, then things will ultimately stabilize and be just fine. That hardly does anything to shake the frustration that we are all still feeling as a result of Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Reality has come for the Cowboys and the honeymoon is over. The days of them looking invincible are in the rearview mirror which is reflected in the latest batch of power rankings.
Here are ours, as well as how people across the NFL see America’s Team.
1. San Francisco 49ers, 3-0 (LW: 2)
They look like a machine sent here to end all levels of football humanity. They are the monstars.
2. Miami Dolphins, 3-0 (LW: 4)
It will be interesting to see if their offensive prowess holds given that they had a great start on that side of the ball last year, but how can you doubt a group that drops 70 points?
3. Philadelphia Eagles, 3-0 (LW: 3)
The final drive of the game was so impressive in how they just ran all over Tampa. It is beyond annoying that they have made plenty of mistakes and hardly look intimidating and are still undefeated.
4. Kansas City Chiefs, 2-1 (LW: 5)
It turns out they remain one of the best teams in the NFL. Who knew?
5. Buffalo Bills, 2-1 (LW: 7)
Personally speaking I still do not really believe in the Bills, but they have looked nothing but great since their season-opening loss. I’ve got the humble pie in the oven just in case.
6. Dallas Cowboys, 2-1 (LW: 1)
We do not have to let Sunday’s disappointment send us all the way to the other end of the spectrum. It was bad and requires correction, but this remains a talented group. Time to get it together.
7. Seattle Seahawks, 2-1 (LW: 8)
Much of the world was paying more attention to Dallas fall apart, but they took care of business against a Carolina team that did not go quietly. Up next they have the G-Men and a great chance to get to 3-1.
8. Baltimore Ravens, 2-1 (LW: 6)
All told the Ravens did just about everything right except take home the win. Dropping that game to the Colts is a tough look and next week sees them visit Cleveland.
9. Detroit Lions, 2-1 (LW: 9)
They are back in the win column but Thursday night at Lambeau Field will be a great chance to see them again in front of the world, and whether or not they are a force or if the NFC North continues to run through Green Bay.
10. Green Bay Packers, 2-1 (LW: 12)
Speaking of! You can only overcome a 17-point deficit by falling into one in the first place, but snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a hallmark of great Packers teams. Perhaps they are on their way.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-1 (LW: 18)
The offense continues to be a bit eh, but overall the Steelers are such a steady group. I’m fascinated to see them play the Texans. What a time!
12. Cleveland Browns, 2-1 (LW: 20)
Week 2 was a difficult one for the Browns, but they bounced back rather nicely with an incredible offensive showing. If they can find consistency there then that defense can carry them a long way. Also, Amari Cooper is so smooth.
13. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-2 (LW: 11)
They did not fall to 0-3 which was the objective on Monday night. Perhaps they are starting to crawl back. Joe Burrow’s calf is the real key at this point. But they did not look smooth.
14. Los Angeles Rams, 1-2 (LW: 13)
Maybe they really are going to be a bit feisty this season, but they did not look anything like it on Monday. What a dreadful performance.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-2 (LW: 10)
Maybe the hype from last season carried over a bit too much. They looked lost last week.
16. Los Angeles Chargers, 1-2 (LW: 21)
Congratulations to the Chargers for not falling to 0-3. That is a seriously important thing. Now it is time to put everything together week to week.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-1 (LW: 17)
They did not feel like a team that would make it to 3-0 and obviously did not.
18. New Orleans Saints, 2-1 (LW: 14)
Obviously the Derek Carr injury is a big deal, but even with him this offense is pulling teeth. Perhaps Alvin Kamara’s return will fix that.
19. Indianapolis Colts, 2-1 (LW: 25)
This might be a bit low, but I want to see more from the Colts as they intended themselves to be. Much rests with whenever Anthony Richardson comes back and if Jonathan Taylor comes back at all. They could be fun.
20. New England Patriots, 1-2 (LW: 24)
They managed to grind out a win to keep the ship afloat. We will see them on Sunday. Also Christian Gonzalez is amazing.
21. Tennessee Titans, 1-2 (LW: 15)
Honestly there is not a ton to like here. The Titans are struggling.
22. Washington Commanders, 2-1 (LW: 16)
Like with the Cowboys it seems as if the first two weeks maaaaaay not have properly represented who they really are.
23. Arizona Cardinals, 1-2 (LW: 30)
Kings of the week. Go off. The right was earned.
24. Houston Texans, 1-2 (LW: 31)
In our season preview at The SB Nation NFL Show I picked the Texans to win the AFC South. My logic lied with them finally being a competent team that would manage to put up enough offense to steal some games. We saw that happen! This is fun.
25. Atlanta Falcons, 2-1 (LW: 19)
They have become the new “a quarterback away” team.
26. Minnesota Vikings, 0-3 (LW: 22)
What a shame. So much offensive talent and all of this losing.
27. Carolina Panthers, 0-3 (LW: 28)
Round and round we go.
28. New York Giants, 1-2 (LW: 26)
Next week will see them in primetime again. This will mark the third time in four weeks.
29. Las Vegas Raiders, 1-2 (LW: 23)
Josh McDaniels said he kicked a field goal down by eight points because the Raiders needed multiple possessions. Seriously.
30. Denver Broncos, 0-3 (LW: 29)
31. New York Jets, 1-2 (LW: 27)
It is getting old for literally everyone to say, but how do they keep starting Zach Wilson?
32. Chicago Bears, 0-3 (LW: 32)
Bummer for our friend Matt Eberflus. This is a tough scene.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published without the rankings from outlets across the internet. It has been updated to reflect them all.
NFL.com: 6 (LW: 4)
So it begins.
Well, now we know what it looks like when Dallas has a bad day on both sides of the ball. Even with Trevon Diggs lost for the year, the Cowboys should not be having games like this going forward. It’s easier to excuse the offensive issues, given the absence of three starting linemen. The defensive breakdowns in the first half were proof that a quality, creative offense can put this team in some uncomfortable spots, especially without Diggs on the field. The secondary, save for maybe Stephon Gilmore, had a tough game. There’s no question this loss to Arizona dramatically changes my view of this team. Eventual Super Bowl winners have been known to put up a regular-season dud along the way, although seldom more than one.
ESPN: 6 (LW: 2)
Exact same spot.
They also identified the biggest issue on each team’s offense which was, um, easy.
Biggest issue on offense: Red zone offense
The Cowboys converted on 3 of 4 chances inside the New York Giants’ 20 in the opener but have scored a touchdown on 3 of 11 red zone drives in the last two games. Last season, they did not score a touchdown on just 16 of 56 red zone trips. They are already halfway to last year’s total misses in just three games. The best red zone teams run the ball into the end zone but against the Cardinals, the Cowboys were without three starting offensive linemen. They need their receivers to win on their routes more. They need Dak Prescott to be more accurate in tight quarters. And Mike McCarthy needs to scheme it better when that close. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 9 (LW: 3)
A further dip down.
Right or wrong, HC Mike McCarthy is adhering to his desire “to run the damn ball,” RB Tony Pollard with a league-high 62 carries – a per-game pace more than double his career average. If only those touches could fix Dallas’ woeful (40%) red-zone percentage.
Yahoo: 6 (LW: 3)
It seems just outside of the top five was a popular mindset.
Trevon Diggs’ season-ending injury wasn’t the reason the Cowboys cratered on defense. He wasn’t going to be too much help in keeping the Cardinals from rushing for 222 yards. But in the long term, it’s a problem. Diggs is a difference-maker at a high-value position. It’s a rough blow.
CBS Sports: 6 (LW: 2)
Let’s give them a mulligan for that loss to the Cardinals, but it needs to be a wake-up call. Maybe they were reading how great the defense was heading into that game, but it wasn’t that day.
The Athletic: 6 (LW: 1)
And yet again.
Also, this outlet provided a rating (on a 1-10 scale) of confidence in each team’s quarterback.
QB confidence rating: 7
The biggest upset of the young season essentially ended with Dak Prescott throwing an interception that looked too familiar to Cowboys fans. Prescott’s numbers this year are middling. He’s 12th in offensive EPA per dropback (.12), 12th in completion percentage (67.6 percent), 16th in passing yards (647) and 33rd in air yards per attempt (5.2), but the Cowboys looked so good in the first two weeks that Dallas fans must still be on board.
Sports Illustrated: 6 (LW: 1)
A popular spot indeed.
I think this game was instructive in how Micah Parsons’s strengths can be used against him. Especially early, the Cardinals were able to manipulate him via zone read, or simply allow him to crash the edges and set the run game outside of the vacant spaces he created. While I wouldn’t call it a blueprint, this was the kind of harmless wake-up call Dallas needed early in the season. Their upcoming slate is brutal, and contains little to no Zach Wilson.