Saturday, September 24, 2022

Dallas Cowboys Week 3 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 3 roundup for the Dallas Cowboys in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 21

Biggest early adjustment: Make Micah Parsons a full-time pass-rusher

He can be an All-Pro off-the-ball linebacker, too, but pass-rushers change the game more than those guys. Against Cincinnati, Parsons almost exclusively lined up at pass-rusher and had two sacks and was credited with 10 pressures. He has four sacks in two games. He can win with speed and power. The Cowboys want to be able to line Parsons up all over the field to create mismatches, which is smart, but he is often a mismatch when he lines up solely at defensive end, too. If they do that, he might make a run at the single-season sack record. He might just do it anyway. -- Rank: 21

The Cowboys were left for dead by many (who, me?) after a grim Week 1 that included a non-competitive loss to the Bucs and Dak Prescott's thumb injury. But America's Team showed fight on Sunday. They jumped out to an early lead against the defending AFC champion Bengals, held off a Joe Burrow-led comeback, then got a 50-yard field goal from Brett Maher at the gun to secure a 20-17 victory at Jerrah World. Cooper Rush made several big-time throws in his first start in place of Prescott, the biggest a 10-yard connection to CeeDee Lamb that put Dallas in field-goal position in the final minute. Lamb also received some much-needed help from fellow wideout Noah Brown, who had receptions on all five of his targets for 91 yards and a touchdown. If the Rush-led offense can stay this competent, a strong Dallas defense will keep this team afloat.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 19

Cooper Rush played a solid game against the Bengals, but it was a game won by the defense. Now let's see what Rush does on the road against the Giants.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

Cooper Rush is the first Dallas quarterback to win his first two starts since ... Jason Garrett (1993-94). The Cowboys will likely be grateful if Rush doesn't approach Garrett's nine career starts with the team.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

This is a Micah Parsons appreciation capsule.

Parsons having the most sacks of any player through his first 18 games is insane when you remember pass rushing is not his only job. Since entering the league, Parsons has sacked or hit the quarterback on 10.1 percent of his 345 pass-rush snaps, per TruMedia. The rest of the top five since last season among players with at least 300 pass-rush snaps include T.J. Watt (8.9 percent), Nick Bosa (7.4 percent), Randy Gregory (6.8 percent) and Matt Judon (6.5 percent).

Big picture, getting even one win with Rush at the helm is probably enough to keep the Cowboys in the NFC East mix until Dak Prescott returns — whenever that is.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 20

Micah Parsons is even better than last season. If he stays healthy, he looks primed to win NFL defensive player of the year. If Cooper Rush plays like he did in the win over the Bengals on Sunday, the defense will keep Dallas in games. Maybe they'll be OK by the time Dak Prescott comes back.

PFT -- Rank: 10

Every win with Cooper Rush is money in the bank for Dak's return.

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