Once the finals seconds tick off the clock of Monday Night Football, it's officially a new NFL week, and all the experts and prognosticators have all the results they need to decide which teams are the top contenders at this exact moment in time.
The Cowboys have already played some statement games this season, but is the national media buying them? Every week we'll round up three of the league's most read and respected Power Rankings (ESPN, NFL.com, and CBS Sports) to see where Dallas stands among the rest of the league.
ESPN: 1.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2.) Arizona Cardinals 3.) Green Bay Packers 4.) Kansas City Chiefs 5.) New England Patriots
6.) Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 7)
"Who would have thought the defense would be the strong point of this team? Nobody would have said that at the beginning of the season. The hope was that the Cowboys would finish in the top half of the league, which would have been a huge improvement over 2020. Being just good enough would have made them a contender, but now the defense is enjoying its strongest season in recent years, and the offense is scuffling. To be a real contender in January, however, the offense has to get back to putting up points, and that means big plays, which have been cut way back in recent years." -Todd Archer
NFL.com: 1.) Green Bay Packers 2.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3.) Arizona Cardinals 4.) Kansas City Chiefs 5.) New England Patriots 6.) Los Angeles Rams
7.) Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 6)
"The Cowboys' defense was a big-play machine in Sunday's win over the Washington Football Team. Defensive end Randy Gregory returned to the lineup and made two huge plays, an acrobatic interception that led to a Dallas touchdown and the strip-sack of Kyle Allen that sealed the win in the fourth quarter. Micah Parsons also continued to build on his outrageous rookie season with a sack-fumble that produced a touchdown. Dak Prescott and the Dallas attack remain in a curious funk, but the Cowboys all but sealed the NFC East by showing they are more than the star wattage on that side of the ball. No wonder Mike McCarthy felt so confident. -Dan Hanzus
CBS Sports: 1.) Green Bay Packers 2.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3.) New England Patriots 4.) Arizona Cardinals 5.) Kansas City Chiefs 6.) Tennessee Titans
7.) Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 10)
"The defense will be trouble going forward now that the injured down players are back on the field. They can wreck a game. Dak Prescott does have to pick it up." -Pete Prisco
This Sunday the Cowboys will travel to Washington to play the Football Team, who experts have ranked 27thth (CBS Sports), 26th (ESPN), and 27th (NFL.com)