Power Rankings: Cowboys rise despite bye
7. New York Giants (Last week: 10). A three-spot jump following a complete pasting of the league's worst team at home. In my own personal rankings, I moved the Giants up from No. 6 to No. 5, but that had more to do with the Packers falling behind them than the idea that the Giants should be moved up. Nothing about Sunday changed anything about my opinion of the Giants, so I didn't feel compelled to alter their ranking significantly in either direction. I'm still higher on them than the rest of the panel, as John Clayton ranks them 14th and everybody else has them at No. 7. I know John's never been sold on the champs, but I have a hard time seeing them as worse than the Bengals. To each his own. Regardless, Sunday's game in San Francisco strikes me as the type of game that could have a far greater impact on my opinion of the Giants than a home game against the Browns would. So check back next week on this.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (7). Not to repeat myself here, but nothing I saw from the Eagles on Sunday changed anything about my opinion of their team. They lost by two points on the road in Pittsburgh on a last-second field goal to a team that was coming off a bye week and is notoriously tough to beat in its building. I had the Eagles ranked ninth last week, and I have them ranked ninth this week. I had them ranked ninth in Week 4 as well. We've done six of these polls this season, and I've put the Eagles at No. 9 in four of them. I don't see how a two-point road loss in Pittsburgh -- or a two-point home victory over the Giants, for that matter -- makes people change their minds about a team so dramatically. But I am the new guy in this exercise, so I guess I'm still learning.
13. Dallas Cowboys (15). The Cowboys had a bye and moved up two spots. Does this mean the Cowboys look their best when they're not actually playing? I had them 13th last week and have them 13th again this week. The panel's opinion on Dallas ranges from No. 12 (Ashley Fox) to No. 18 (Mike Sando). The Steelers moved ahead of them while the Chargers, Bengals and Broncos all dropped behind them. This says less about the Cowboys than it does about the AFC, which has almost no good teams and whose rankings are therefore subject to extreme volatility.
21. Washington Redskins (18). I dropped them one spot on my ballot, from 17th to 18th. I actually thought they played fine against the Falcons, but I wanted to bump the 4-1 Vikings up in the rankings, and the Redskins were one of the teams over which they had to jump. Guess we'll see how wise that was, since they play each other this week. If Robert Griffin III is out, this team's ranking should drop significantly. But since we haven't seen that yet and we don't know whether he'll play, I thought it wise to hold tight with Washington. Everybody has them in the 18-23 range, which seems fair for a 2-3 team with a killer offense and defensive issues.
What do you guys think?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.