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Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Cowboys at No. 22 in Power Rankings

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Jerry Jones looks at his Dallas Cowboys after what they have done in free agency, what they have done in the draft and how they altered the coaching staff and sees a better team.

What, you thought he would think otherwise?

Jones sees more numbers on the defensive line. He loves what Rod Marinelli will do for the defense. He loves what Scott Linehan will do for the offense. Clearly the Cowboys loved to get Zack Martin in the first round of the draft and Demarcus Lawrence in the second round.

“Relative to where we played last year, we’ve had a very impactful draft,” Jones said on Saturday. “We actually have had an impactful offseason, relative to the way we play. Y’all were a party too and witnessed a team that just flat was bankrupt in the defensive line last year. You can give all the excuse in the world as Bill [Parcells] used to say, ‘You are what you are.’ But we are better just simply because we are ready for it this year, and we have numbers that we don’t have to be bringing people in … When I look over at the offense, we haven’t taken a step back on offense at any place and matter of fact, without being trite, we’ve gained on it in my opinion. For me, I feel better than I did when we quit playing last year. To me, that isn’t just optimism for me. I, factually, can look down here and say we’re a better team than we were this time last year as reality would have it.”

Maybe.

But those who vote for ESPN’s Power Rankings are not convinced the Cowboys are better. In fact, John Clayton, Ashley Fox, Dan Graziano, Jamison Hensley, Mike Sando and Kevin Seifert believe the Cowboys are worse. For the full rankings, click here.

The Cowboys were ranked 17th in the final Power Rankings of the 2013 season with their 8-8 finish.

Having lost DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and Miles Austin, realizing Tony Romo is a year older (and coming off a second back surgery) and not believing the defense will be improved, the Cowboys are 22nd in the first Power Ranking of 2014.

The only NFC teams below the Cowboys are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23), Washington Redskins (28) and Minnesota Vikings (29). All three have new coaches.