Following an embarrassing loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys status in NFL Power Rankings across the internet have understandably taken a big hit. In FanSided’s rankings, America’s Team was placed in the lofty number three slot following a convincing victory over their divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, in Week Two.
But following the defeat at the hands of the Falcons on Sunday, the Cowboys have fallen to number 12 overall in FanSided’s newest NFL Power Rankings. Here’s their explanation for Dallas’ latest ranking.
"“For the first 30 minutes, it looked like no Romo, no problem for the Dallas Cowboys. Brandon Weeden opened 9-for-9 and set a franchise mark for consecutive completions (dating back to the Week 2 game). Dallas posted 28 first-half points and were running all over the Falcons. And then, in the game’s final 30 minutes, the wheels came off. The offense was stagnant, Weeden was inconsistent, running lanes were bottled up, and the defense couldn’t stop a thing. Atlanta manhandled Dallas in the second half, as realization set in that the team might be in serious trouble thanks to a barrage of injuries.”"
Admittedly, the Cowboys aren’t playing with a full deck. Still, a proper power ranking should assess where a team currently stands. Not based from their play last week or where they might be, say when their star players return from injury. After watching the Cowboys crumble in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, I’m not sure if this latest ranking is just a little bit too high.
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Let’s get this out of the way first. After a terrific first half, the Cowboys coaching staff rested on it’s laurels and failed to make the proper halftime adjustments. This much is clear. And whether or not you blame back-up quarterback Brandon Weeden for the loss, Dallas’ coaching staff implemented a gameplan that limited his effectiveness. Thus, showing a level of mistrust in the former first round bust to do anything but simply manage the game.
The more troubling issue to consider is the performance by the Cowboys defense on Sunday. This group allowed a suspect Falcons offensive line to manhandle them all game. They also allowed a second-year running back, who had never rushed for more than 38 yards in his first 18 regular season games, to gain 141 yards on the ground and score three times against them.
Finally, and maybe most disturbing, is the fact that the Cowboys defensive secondary allowed Falcon wide receiver Julio Jones to grab 12 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Now, this is nothing new for Mr. Jones as he’s posted similar numbers in his first two games this season. But the Cowboys knew he was a their biggest threat and they still could do little stop him. Even with two defenders covering him!
Judging this Cowboys team based upon their last performance, in all three phases, I’m not sure this group is a better team than the San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts or Minnesota Vikings; all teams ranked lower than Dallas in FanSided’s newest Power Rankings. The reality is, this current Cowboys roster is far less talented than the one that started the season 2-0.