NFL Nation: 2011 nfl power rankings

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys in top 10

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
2:00
PM ET
Ah yes, Power Rankings day. The day each week when we get to ponder the horrifying question: What if the NFL were just like the BCS?

The new Power Rankings are out, and so we take our weekly look at how the teams in our division fared. In order, of course.

9. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 12) The Cowboys started the season ranked 14th, fell as low as 21st at one point, and now find themselves in the top 10 after three straight wins. With games coming up against the 3-7 Dolphins and the 3-7 Cardinals, and with the two teams in front of them having lost their starting quarterbacks in the past two weeks, the Cowboys have the opportunity to keep moving up -- as long as they can keep winning.

strong>12. New York Giants (7) Voters did not like the Giants' home loss to the Eagles on Sunday night, and the five-spot drop for the Giants is the biggest for any team this week. It likely doesn't help that it was their second loss in a row, following a tough road loss at No. 2 San Francisco the week before. But the Giants have kind of been that team all year that made you wonder how they were winning so much, and when that team starts losing, they sometimes drop pretty fast in polls like this. For what it's worth, I might put them ahead of the No. 11 Falcons. And I'm not sure they're not better than the Cowboys until we see them play each other. But I'm not a voter, so you know.

strong>18. Philadelphia Eagles (22) The Eagles are the reverse of the Giants, and tied with the Dolphins and Browns for the biggest jump up the rankings this week. They're the team that began the season ranked No. 4 -- the team about which everybody's been wondering how they were losing so much. So when they look as good as they looked in picking up a road win in the division without their quarterback and best receiver... yeah, they move up. Honestly, I think they're better than a few of the teams right in front of them -- Denver, Tennessee and Oakland, to name three. But the record says otherwise, and the Eagles have to own that.

strong>26. Washington Redskins (26) The Skins' overtime loss to Dallas was the best game they've played in a month and a half, but it was still a loss, and they're 3-7 and hanging out with the bottom-feeders. It's hard to make a convincing argument to move them up. I mean, the Dolphins are one spot ahead of them and beat them head-to-head. I guess they get a chance to shake out of things this week with a trip to No. 23 Seattle, but if they lose that one, the bottom of the poll is going to start coming up on them pretty quickly here.

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys rising

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
1:30
PM ET
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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider