Don Banks has a weekly Power Ranking article where he lists NFL teams from #1 to #32. The Dallas Cowboys began the previous week at 14 and due to their loss against the NY Jets, they were downgraded to 15. He states:
I really don’t understand the organization’s rush to support Tony Romo after his fourth-quarter meltdown cost the Cowboys what would have — and should have — been a significant upset road win against the Jets. Romo has lost seven of his past eight starts for Dallas, dating from the Cowboys’ blowout loss at Minnesota in the 2009 NFC divisional playoffs, and he is almost solely responsible for the first loss in franchise history in a game which Dallas led by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Somebody needs to tell Jerry Jones that maybe Romo could use tough love more than unconditional love.
Let me get this straight. An underdog team travels to New York on the 10th anniversary of September 11. They are playing against a team that was one game away from participating in the Super Bowl in the previous year. They are in a hostile environment and that team comes within a touchdown of victory… and they are downgraded. Sure it would make sense if they are downgraded from 4 to 5, but from 14 to 15? Considering the Cowboys dominated the Jets for roughly 3 quarters of the game – considering the Cowboys stifled the Jets vaunted running game – considering the Cowboys forced turnovers – and considering the Jets needed 3 miracle plays (fumble with a knee 1 inch off the ground, blocked punt, and a boneheaded interception) simply to be in position to win… with all that in consideration the Cowboys are downgraded. Many Cowboys fans would point to there being a 4th miracle play with Nick Folk making a 50 yard field goal.
Bringing up the losing of seven out of the last 8 starts is a low blow. The 2010 Cowboys were a mess and Romo appeared to be the only one on the field trying to win at times. Romo exited the game against the NY Giants in 2010 with the lead, only to watch from the sidelines the remainder of his teammates allow a Giants victory.
By contrast, the Jets were previously ranked 5th and were upgraded to 3rd. Again Banks states:
Look for the Jets to get back to their ground-and-pound running game against the visiting Jaguars this week. New York threw the ball an astounding 44 times against the Cowboys, with their injury-depleted secondary, and it resulted in Mark Sanchez getting sacked four times, knocked down at least three other times, and tested for a concussion on Monday. Suffice to say that’s not the game plan Gang Green is going to want to follow all season.
The Cowboys made the Jets look flawed. The Jets were unable to do what they were built to do (run the ball). Apparently being ineffective in the rushing game against a team that is in the first week of implementing a new defensive system isn’t a cause for concern. The Jets passing offense, lead by Mark Sanchez, was marginally effective (they did have over 300 yards passing) against 3rd and 4th string cornerbacks. First team wide receivers were contained by the bottom of the Cowboys roster and the Jets offense scored a total of 17 points… but that isn’t a cause for concern. Victory may be a panacea, but an absence of logic is incomprehensible.
Banks may not believe this to be a moral victory for the Cowboys, but without a doubt, this team showed they are capable of beating any team in the league. The seed of optimism is alive and will begin to bear fruit against the San Francisco 49ers.