May 24, 2022

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ESPN, NFL agree on Dallas’ early spot

3 min read
ESPN, NFL agree on Dallas' early spot


The Super Bowl just happened and the sports media world is already looking ahead. Sorry, Rams! After Sunday’s big game, several media outlets released their “way-too-early” power rankings for the 32 NFL teams for the 2022 season. Of course, we have to keep in mind that these rankings were done before free agency, trades, the 2022 NFL Draft, and many other things that can change the trajectory of a team’s future.

But, that’s why the outlets themselves admit that these are early predictions. Surprisingly, despite a disappointing end to their season, the Dallas Cowboys were ranked in the top ten by two of the football world’s most trusted sources: ESPN and NFL.com. In fact, both of them had the Cowboys at No. 7.

Let’s take a deeper look at where Dallas is ranked, who is above them, and why these writers think they deserve the No. 7 spot.

Dallas Cowboys ranked No. 7 in both NFL.com and ESPN way-too-early power rankings

Now, keep in mind that this is one person’s opinion. These are usually made to spark discussion rather than to be seen as hard facts. But when two sites both have the Cowboys in the same position, it’s a bit hard to ignore.

ESPN’s Power Rankings: 

ESPN didn’t even bother waiting until the Monday after the Super Bowl to release their rankings. They released the list Sunday night. This is ESPN’s top ten:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Buffalo Bills
  3. Los Angeles Rams
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Cincinnati Bengals
  6. San Francisco 49ers
  7. Dallas Cowboys
  8. Tennessee Titans
  9. New England Patriots
  10. Arizona Cardinals

Seems like ESPN is assuming Aaron Rodgers is staying with the Packers. Despite the fact that the Cowboys won the NFC East and improved to 12-5, ESPN’s Todd Archer says Mike McCarthy’s seat is incredibly hot due to the team’s inability to win a playoff game. Archer said McCarthy needs to help kick the offense into gear in order to keep his job. Still, it’s hard to imagine that the Titans with a healthy Derrick Henry and the Patriots with an improving Mac Jones deserve to be ranked below the Cowboys.

NFL.com’s Power Rankings:

NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus released his rankings on Tuesday morning. Here is his top ten:

  1. Los Angeles Rams
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Buffalo Bills
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
  5. Green Bay Packers
  6. San Francisco 49ers
  7. Dallas Cowboys
  8. Tennessee Titans
  9. Indianapolis Colts
  10. New England Patriots

The Colts are added to this list and the 49ers are put above the Cowboys. What’s Hanzus’ reasoning? Interestingly enough, the team he also ranked No. 7 is a team he admitted was very hot-and-cold. Hanzus says that Dallas is under immense pressure next year and specifically mentions that the potential of Sean Payton returning to coaching will loom large over the program.

Then, why rank them No. 7? Maybe Hanzus thinks the pressure to be amazing will be enough to get them to the playoffs again. But hasn’t that pressure been there for 26 years? The Cowboys need to ignore these rankings and worry about performing, figuring out free agency, and doubling down on discipline. Overhyping a team that doesn’t deserve it is never helpful.

Cowboys Power Rankings: ESPN, NFL agree on Dallas’ early spot