Friday, September 8, 2023

Dallas Cowboys Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 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 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 7

On the hot seat: Coach Mike McCarthy

This is nothing new, of course. McCarthy has not had much of a honeymoon, and even winning 24 games in the past two years has not earned him much grace. But now that he is taking over as the playcaller, he will be under even more scrutiny. If the numbers falter and the wins don't continue, there will be heat on McCarthy even if the organization publicly backs him. -- Todd Archer -- Rank: 6

The big news was the unexpected trade for Trey Lance -- and what it ultimately means for Dak Prescott. Whatever ends up happening, the move feels like a worthy one, with Lance now able to develop behind the scenes. The opportunity to become Prescott's backup in 2024 could be there. Perhaps Prescott's future negotiations will help put Lance in a spot where he could one day become the Cowboys' starter. But there seems to be a healthy dose of optimism with Prescott and the "Texas Coast" offense this season, to the point where I am buying in.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

This is the pressure year for Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy. The pressure is on both in a big way. Will Prescott handle it in big games? If he doesn't, there will be changes next season.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

Yes, the defense could be epic — '85 Bears or '13 Seahawks, anyone? But, unless new QB3 Trey Lance is more multi-talented than he's given credit for, the guess is Dallas will miss Moore, RB Ezekiel Elliott and TE Dalton Schultz far more than anticipated.

The Athletic -- Rank: 7

Best-case scenario: Brandin Cooks and a revitalized Michael Gallup keep opposing defenses from being able to key in on CeeDee Lamb as much as they'd like, and Dak Prescott's interception rate returns to the level it was through the first six years of his career (1.7 percent) instead of its outlier high in 2022 (3.8 percent), giving the Cowboys the best passing offense in the NFC. Micah Parsons tops 20 sacks and wins Defensive Player of the Year. Jerry Jones returns to the Super Bowl for the first time since the onset of mad cow disease.

Worst-case scenario: An offensive line that features three players either over 30 or coming off major injuries craters, and Cooks' addition to the offense makes little difference. Parsons remains a one-man wrecking crew, but the rest of the defense regresses as DeMarcus Lawrence and Stephon Gilmore look their ages and Trevon Diggs' aggressiveness comes back to bite him. The Yankees, Lakers and Duke men's basketball all miss the postseason, too.

FOX -- Rank: 8

If not now, when? That's the question I keep coming back to with this Cowboys team. They added to both sides of the ball by trading for Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore. They're bringing back all their stars. They have a veteran coach, a veteran quarterback and not much in the way of excuses. If Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy can't find a way over the hump this year, it's hard to imagine when it'll happen.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 6

The Cowboys' No. 2 running back spot is still a concern. Rico Dowdle was Tony Pollard's primary backup in the preseason, but he has never played in a regular-season game. Rookie Deuce Vaughn had some nice plays in preseason, and while he's exciting, it's hard to see him being an every-down back if Pollard misses time. Dallas could still be checking out veteran free-agent depth as the season gets going.

PFT -- Rank: 10

As usual, everything looks great. As usual, potential flaws are lurking just below that shiny exterior.

Previous updates:

More Dallas Cowboys pages:

Check out more of our content:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) like us on Facebook and/or (3) subscribe to our newsletter.