Thursday, September 8, 2022

Dallas Cowboys Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Dallas Cowboys in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

Who's on the hot seat: Coach Mike McCarthy

It's been this way since last season ended, and nothing has changed since, despite Jerry Jones' constant backing. McCarthy will be the most watched head coach this year because of the Sean Payton shadow and the way Jones took care of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. It's as if the Cowboys did not win 12 games last year, as the residue from the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers has not disappeared. To his credit, McCarthy has not allowed the outside discussions of his job to impact how he coaches. Players say he has remained the same with them in temperament and in his demands. -- Rank: 15

Can the offense carry its weight? It's a strange question, as we've become accustomed to seeing Dallas put up numbers since the heyday of Tony Romo. But attrition has taken the attack out of the conversation of the league's elite at a time when the defense -- led by otherworldly Micah Parsons and breakout cornerback Trevon Diggs -- has the potential to be a top-10 unit. A lot will come down to whether the offensive line -- which will be without Tyron Smith until at least December -- can open holes for Ezekiel Elliott and give enough time to Dak Prescott, who is short on dynamic options aside from CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys have been falsely painted as a doomed squad by naysayers this summer -- still, they'll need to figure some things out with question marks at key spots.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 15

The Tyron Smith injury is not good for the Cowboys and their playoff chances. They do have talent on both sides of the ball, but that loss will challenge Dak Prescott and the offense.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

The good news: Factoring in positional importance, Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons are probably the two best players in the NFC East. If Anthony Barr can remain healthy enough to let Parsons spend more time rushing the quarterback, the second-year linebacker could have a Defensive Player of the Year-type season.

The bad news: Sean Payton won't be the coach until at least October. And the offensive line, aside from Zack Martin, woof.

Nugget to remember: No team hurt itself on offense more than the Cowboys a season ago. According to TruMedia, Dallas' offense ranked 32nd in offensive EPA lost to penalties one season after it finished third-best in that category. The Cowboys were also the most penalized team in football.

The Ringer -- Rank: 12

You cannot make a rational argument that Dallas improved this offseason. They just lost too much. Burnt by salary cap hell, the Cowboys traded away wide receiver Amari Cooper for a fifth-round pick, cut right tackle La'el Collins, and both edge rusher Randy Gregory and slot receiver Cedrick Wilson left in free agency. And now star left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to miss a bulk of the 2022 season with a torn hamstring. All of that might not be enough for the Cowboys' remaining stars in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons to lead the team into the playoffs, but it is more than enough to keep the team outside of the top 10 teams in the NFL.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 9

The Tyron Smith injury is a brutal one for the Cowboys. I'd hesitated moving Dallas too far down over the offseason, because the Cowboys were better last season than anyone seems to remember. But the holes are tough to ignore.

PFT -- Rank: 10

Can they win in the playoffs this year? First, they have to get back there.

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