A weekly examination of the Cowboys’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 20 | Last week: 13 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
For the first time this season, the Dallas Cowboys are not the top team in the NFC East in the ESPN.com Power Rankings, falling to No. 15, a spot behind the Philadelphia Eagles, after their 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
At 5-5, the Cowboys are now ranked 15th for the fourth time this season and have fallen five spots since rising to No. 10 after their 17-3 win against the Eagles on Oct. 20. Oddly, John Clayton bumped the Cowboys up a spot in his rankings to No. 12, which might be a sign of poor play across the board in the league. Dan Graziano had the lowest grade on the Cowboys, No. 16.
The bye week comes at a good time for the Cowboys, who are dealing with injuries to Sean Lee, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. They need the rest, but Lee will miss at least three games with a hamstring strain. The hope is that Miles Austin, Morris Claiborne and J.J. Wilcox will be able to return from hamstring and knee injuries to play against the New York Giants on Nov. 24.
Getting healthy will be a priority for the Cowboys, but playing better remains more important. The season is teetering right now. By the time the Cowboys come back to work next week, they might be out of first place in the NFC East if the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins. If the Redskins and Giants win, then they will be in the mix at just one game behind.