It's finally August.
Training camps are underway, the preseason is getting started, and regular-season football is right around the corner. But, it is still early August, which means many sports media outlets are reaching for topics to talk about in an effort to fill air time.
To fill those slots we often get rankings of some sort. Whether it be quarterbacks, receivers, defenses, or total teams, August is full of these expert-made hierarchies. NFL.com recently released their version of “preseason power rankings,” and our Dallas Cowboys did not fare too well.
Originally ranked 16th, the Dallas Cowboys fell two slots to 18th overall in this recent edition of NFL.com writer Elliot Harrison's power rankings. No matter how you feel about the Cowboys talent level this year, dropping them two slots before any games were even played seems very strange.
The reasoning behind the drop makes even less sense. Harrison's argument seems to be centered around the backup quarterback situation, but the situation isn't much worse off than it was when the teams were first ranked, so such a drop is perplexing.
“The only thing more perplexing than all the suspensions in Dallas is the backup quarterback strategy. Maybe the Cowboys are sneaky sly, like the kid playing “Clue” who names a person, weapon, and room that he already has in his hand to throw everyone else off. Or maybe the Cowboys are throwing themselves off. There won't be any Matt Hasselbeck's out there to save the season in October if Tony Romo goes down. Well, unless they lure the real Hasselbeck off the ESPN set. The lack of pass rush still trumps all.” -Elliot Harrison
While I don't believe a drop was in order, it is hard to argue against Harrison's overall point. If Tony Romo goes down for any serious length of time, this team's season is probably over. Even if Romo remains healthy for a full 16 games, the lack of pass rush could be the undoing of an otherwise “win-now” ready roster. All of this is fact, though I would add that if just about any team's starting quarterback is out for the majority of the season, they too would have their season flushed down the toilet.
Of course, these rankings don't mean much of anything, as every single game is still yet to be played. They are interesting to look at, however, to see what an outsider of sorts thinks about our favorite team.
Hopefully, the Cowboys can prove Elliot Harrison and all the naysayers wrong this coming season.
To read the entire article as well as the full power rankings, follow the link above.