Tuesday, November 15, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys rising
By Dan Graziano
Oh yes it's Power Rankings day here at ESPN.com, and you know what that means. Time to see where our division's teams have landed in the latest edition of our weekly NFL power poll.
7. New York Giants (Last week: 6): Not surprisingly, very little movement for the Giants off a close road loss to the No. 2-ranked team in the Power Rankings. The only thing that pushed the Giants down at all was the Bears jumping from No. 9 to No. 5 off of their very impressive victory against the Lions. As I wrote Monday, there was no reason for anyone to change their opinion on the Giants based on Sunday's result. If you thought they were a top-10 team before they lost in San Francisco, you can still think that. If you thought they'd been playing over their heads and shouldn't be ranked this high, you can still think that. You guys all know on which that side of the fence I fall.
12. Dallas Cowboys (15): Dallas tied the Bengals for 11th in this week's rankings but lost the tiebreaker due to Cincinnati's better overall record. Still, a three-spot jump based on a dominating victory over the Bills has the Cowboys knocking on the door of the top 10. And given their upcoming schedule -- games against the Redskins, Dolphins and Cardinals -- they have the opportunity to make a big move in these rankings over the next three weeks. If they slip up, their ranking will deservedly be punished for it. But if they can keep their roll going against those lesser teams, they have a chance to move into elite company here pretty soon.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (16): Last week's Monday night loss to the up-and-coming Bears wasn't enough to knock the Eagles down in the rankings, but Sunday's el foldo against the 23rd-ranked Cardinals sure was. Only five teams in the league have worse records than the Eagles, who are the most disappointing team in the NFL this year, so they should count themselves lucky to be ahead of 10 teams in the rankings.
26. Washington Redskins (22): Five weeks ago, they were ranked 10th in this poll. They have not won since, and are now far more likely to settle somewhere near their preseason rank of 28th than in those lofty Week 5 and Week 6 heights. Things have gotten away from the Redskins quickly. I think they're ranked about where they should be, but Miami and Carolina are behind them and have a case, since they both beat Washington head-to-head.