Based in Virginia, USA Today actually has the Dallas Cowboys dropping in their power ranking despite their recent win. And guess how high the Redskins are?
The 3-3 Dallas Cowboys are certainly not the team they were last year, although there are 10 games left in the 2017 regular season to prove that statement to be false. But America’s Team still possess many of the key players that led them to a 13-3 record last year, as well as an appearance in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The Cowboys started the season 2-1, then suffered a five point loss to the surging Los Angeles Rams and a four point defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers prior to the Aaron Rodgers’ injury. Although those losses were a bit surprising, especially considering they were both at AT&T Stadium, Dallas was still very much in both matchups.
Following their bye in Week Six, the Cowboys traveled to San Francisco. Dallas easily defeated the winless 49ers in a 40-10 blowout over the weekend. Back even at 3-3, you’d expect the Cowboys to receive a little credit for their bounce back victory. But according to USA Today, the win actually dropped Dallas further down their power rankings.
USA Today dropped the Cowboys from 17th to 19th in their rankings following their victory over the Niners on Sunday. And in an equally confusing move, the national publication actually elevated the 3-3 Washington Redskins to sixth place on their power rankings despite the team losing to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, 34-24.
According to well-known sports commentator Colin Cowherd, USA Today’s adjustments in their power rankings appear to be a case of regional bias.
"“USA Today is based where? In Washington D.C.,” Cowherd explained on his FS1 show The Herd on Wednesday. ” … they came out with their NFL power rankings today. The Redskins are sixth. No one in the world has the Redskins sixth on their poll. And the Dallas Cowboys, the rival of the Redskins, is 19th. This is what I would call regional bias.”"
The Cowboys head to FedExField this week to take on the Redskins at home, so there is no wonder shade is being thrown their way. Both teams are 3-3 and vying for second place in the NFC East. The divisional rivalry between the two teams is legendary and it’s hardly surprising when that bias leaks into local media. But for it to do so in a publication like USA Today is a joke.
It’s actually hard to determine what to be madder about. The fact the Cowboys are ranked so low or that the Redskins are so high! Especially considering Dallas is currently favored in their upcoming matchup in Washington D.C.
On FanSided’s own NFL power rankings, the Cowboys are ranked sixth after being 11th the week before. And the Redskins are 16th, dropping down one slot after their loss. Now that’s quite a difference!
Is regional bias real? Absolutely. But in a national newspaper, that has “USA” in the title, it should not exist. Certainly power rankings are a very subjective thing. But if someone ranked the Cleveland Browns the best team in the NFL, they’d clearly be wrong. I certainly think that’s the case here.