This is the time of years when rankings and polls are so popular in football. Obviously, it's a bigger deal in the college game, but you'll see some NFL power rankings every now and then, and that's typically based on mere opinions.
Troy Aikman offers a different take. The former quarterback has created his Aikman Ratings, which ranks teams based off seven categories of performance and not win-loss record.
Better yet, these ratings are based off of:
Points, red-zone efficiency, third-down efficiency, first downs, turnovers, yards per pass and yards per rush.
To no surprise, the Cowboys are right in the middle – 16th out of 32 teams. If that doesn't scream average, then nothing aside from the 4-5 record does either.
It's likely a good thing penalties are not included in this list or the Cowboys would probably be a little closer to the bottom.
Still, these rating also show the Cowboys to be about average, but there is a good sign heading into the final seven games of the schedule. Five of the upcoming opponents are ranked below the Cowboys.
The only two ahead are New Orleans (14th) and Pittsburgh (ninth). But the Redskins (18th) who face the Cowboys twice, Eagles (21st), Bengals (23rd) and Browns (26th) are all behind the Cowboys.
There's no science to this as it equates to winning and losing. Tampa Bay is sixth on this list with a 5-4 record, ahead of the 8-1 Falcons, who are seventh.
But it seems to be a good indication of how teams are efficient teams are playing on a consistent basis and that typically equates on the field.