2021 NFL Week 3 power rankings: The Dallas Cowboys are on the rise

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Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

How the world views the Cowboys.

We are now two weeks into the 2021 NFL season. With at least two games for every team we are now able to draw some more legitimate conclusions about each and every team. Who is good? Who is not? Who is for real? Who is a pretender?

Every Tuesday here at Blogging The Boys we put together our power rankings across the NFL and also collect to see how outlets around the internet view the Dallas Cowboys.

You can visit our rankings from last week right here. Let’s begin.

1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 1)

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski look like the best version of themselves. It’s remarkable.

2- Los Angeles Rams (LW: 3)

They experienced a game that was probably closer than they would have liked, but the Rams are an elite team and elite teams find ways to win. The Matthew Stafford connection to Cooper Kupp is already off to an incredible start.

3 – Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2)

They lasted a longer time for Kansas City than most teams, but it felt like the cute records like never having lost in September with Patrick Mahomes always had an expiration date. Being the hunted is not easy.

4 – Arizona Cardinals (LW: 6)

If the season ended today (an admittedly dumb statement) Kyler Murray is MVP, right?

5 – Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 11)

Could they maybe actually be for real for the first time under Jon Gruden since he returned? It certainly seems possible. Derek Carr demands respect.

6- Cleveland Browns (LW: 10)

They took Kansas City to the brink in Week 1 and finally got on the board on Sunday. They have the best run game in the NFL.

7 – San Francisco 49ers (LW: 8)

It feels disrespectful to place a 2-0 team this low and beneath some 1-1 squads, but the 49ers offense is so stagnant. They had 14 yards in the first quarter on Sunday. Their ceiling is so much lower with Jimmy G.

8 – Seattle Seahawks (LW: 7)

Blowing a huge fourth quarter lead in Week 2 reminds me of The Watermelon Kick game, but it was Seattle here. They are a great team but just find ways to lose certain contests sometimes.

9 – Baltimore Ravens (LW: 19)

What an impressive win on Sunday night. Lamar Jackson is something else.

10 – Dallas Cowboys (LW: 12)

Winning against the Chargers was really impressive all things considered for the Cowboys. Down all of the players they were, all of the starters, to grind that out said a lot.

11 – Buffalo Bills (LW: 13)

Their defense showed up to an impressive degree, but their Week 1 performance is still too fresh. Are they actually back or did they just draw the Dolphins last week? Go take care of Washington this week, please.

12 – Tennessee Titans (LW: 17)

Rallying to come back and win on the road is super impressive, no matter who it is against. The fact that it was against Seattle says a lot about Tennessee’s disposition.

13 – Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 5)

They are still going to be a very good team this season and seeing them against Kansas City will be very interesting this week. Unfortunately they (like a lot of teams) just have a few things to clean up. Justin Herbert is for real.

14 – Green Bay Packers (LW: 16)

It appears as if they are back on the right track.

15 – Carolina Panthers (LW: 20)

I’m sorry, but I just do not buy it. They are 2-0 thanks to a game against the Jets and New Orleans coming back down to earth, and they will likely climb to 3-0 against the Texans on Thursday. Call me skeptical.

16 – New Orleans Saints (LW: 4)

They have two very interesting games so far behind them. Who is this team?

17 – Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 9)

It was painfully obvious entering the season that their offense was going to be an issue. Look at that.

18 – Denver Broncos (LW: 18)

Just like the Panthers, they are 2-0, but with wins against the Giants and Jaguars. You can only play who is in front of you, but it is clear that more turbulent waters are on the horizon.

19 – New England Patriots (LW: 23)

Who this team is going to be with Mac Jones remains to be seen.

20 – Washington Football Team (LW: 22)

They outlasted the Giants and doing so without Ryan Fitzpatrick was definitely impressive. Taylor Heinicke certainly looked good.

21 – Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 14)

Well look at that. A trip back down to earth. We’ll see you next week.

22 – Chicago Bears (LW: 26)

All we want is to see this team with Justin Fields in a serious way.

23 – Miami Dolphins (LW: 15)

Sunday is such a difficult game to evaluate for them given that their quarterback left due to injury. It appears as if some rough times could be ahead for the Dolphins.

24 – Minnesota Vikings (LW: 24)

Of all the 0-2 teams Minnesota certainly feels like the one that should be most sick about it. If they were awake for their game against Cincinnati and managed to make a game-winner then things are very different for them.

25 – Atlanta Falcons (LW: 25)

They played Tampa tough, but there is no question that Atlanta is very bad. It’s going to be a long season here.

26 – Indianapolis Colts (LW: 28)

They lost, but they showed a bit of something interesting early on. And they have had to play two NFC West teams to start. We will see what happens with Carson Wentz, but even with them they are not a team to be inspired by long-term.

27 – Houston Texans (LW: 27)

How they fare without Tyrod Taylor remains to be seen. Good thing we get to watch them on national television this week!

28 – Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 21)

It is strange how a team with playmakers like Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and Ja’Marr Chase can be so boring. But Burrow was so bad this past week, throwing three straight interceptions. Nobody can succeed that way.

29 – Detroit Lions (LW: 29)

A valiant effort on Monday night, just not enough.

30 – New York Jets (LW: 30)

Zach Wilson will get better, but yikes.

31 – New York Giants (LW: 31)

One of the worst teams in the NFL. Although Daniel Jones looked more promising last week.

32 – Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32)

Patience is a virtue.

NFL.com: 17 (LW: 19)

Not all too big of a bump up here.

Mike McCarthy owes Greg Zuerlein big time. The kicker drilled a 56-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Cowboys to their first win and saving the head coach from a week of blistering criticism over his time management in the final seconds. After the game, McCarthy said the clock on the digital board above the SoFi Stadium field disappeared, creating confusion on the sidelines. Not a Mojo Moment™. Zuerlein wasn’t the only Cowboy who came up clutch: Micah Parsons dominated in exclusive work as an edge rusher. That’s not how the Cowboys would prefer to deploy their rookie first-rounder, but his varied skill-set came up huge in a game played without DeMarcus Lawrence (broken foot) and Randy Gregory (COVID-19).

ESPN: 13 (LW: 13)

No movement at all here. Also every team has a “surprise fantasy start” listed and it is Tony Pollard for the Cowboys.

Fantasy surprise: RB Tony Pollard

There hasn’t been anything really surprising about the Cowboys’ offense in two games in terms of Dak Prescott’s numbers and the production of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. But Pollard had 13 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers. It was the third 100-yard game of his career. Does it mean he will continue to get this kind of workload? That seems doubtful with Ezekiel Elliott healthy, but Pollard gives the Cowboys some options. With wideout Michael Gallup (calf) out for at least two more games, Pollard’s touches could be higher than normal, if not solely his carries. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 10 (LW: 9)

This particular outlet had the Cowboys as the 9th-best team last week and dropped them after they won. Against a team a ton of people are really high on. On the road. Without a ton of starters. Weird.

Never hurts to get a home game – even in Southern California – coming off a tough defeat and key personnel losses. And now ‘Boys get to play their next three in Jerry World.

Yahoo: 20 (LW: 19)

Another dip despite the win. What is happening here?!

Tony Pollard had 109 yards on 13 carries while Ezekiel Elliott had 71 yards on 16 carries. This is why you don’t pay running backs top dollar. Regardless, it seems clear the Cowboys have two backs they can trust and use.

CBS Sports: TBD (LW: 18)

Sports Illustrated: 16 (LW: 15)

Yet another drop. The Cowboys won!

The Bucs’ offense looked great on opening night, but the Cowboys still gave the defending champs all they could handle and forced them to win it on a field goal at the end. Then they beat the Chargers in a game with a very different flow and game script. I still have Dallas as the best team in the NFC East, but we know that doesn’t necessarily mean too much these days.

Sporting News: 12 (LW: 15)

Finally moving in the right direction.

The Cowboys used their bonus home game in Los Angeles to take down the Chargers with overachieving defense and a rediscovery of their groove in the running game with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to support Dak Prescott. The Cowboys should still be considered the NFC East easy favorites.

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