Follow us:

Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

October 9, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Seahawks vs. Cowboys: Most NFL power rankings show Dallas gaining, Seattle No. 1

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray takes a handoff from Tony Romo in Sunday's victory over the Houston Texans. Photo by Brandon Wade /  The Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray takes a handoff from Tony Romo in Sunday’s victory over the Houston Texans.
Photo by Brandon Wade / The Associated Press

Monday night’s victory was hardly a work of art, Russell Wilson’s performance notwithstanding, but it was enough to keep the Seahawks atop most of the NFL Power rankings from national media and major newspapers.

But guess who’s gaining ground quickly. Hello, America’s team.

Fifteen of the 18 rankings I found place Seattle No. 1. The other three rate the San Diego Chargers first and the Seahawks second.  The Denver Broncos are ranked No. 2 by most media outlets.

The Dallas Cowboys (4-1), who play in Seattle on Sunday, continued their steady climb and are ranked in the top 10 by most. They’re as high as No. 4 and as low as No. 12. Most have them ranked Nos. 6 or 7.

Here are the rankings I found Thursday night, with comments for both the Seahawks and Cowboys. Check back Friday for updates and rankings by The Seattle Times’ Jayson Jenks.

ESPN.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Russell Wilson kept finding room to run. He rushed for 122 yards, the most by a quarterback on “Monday Night Football,” including 85 yards off scrambles.

Cowboys ranking:  No. 6

Cowboys comment: Elias says DeMarco Murray has joined one heck of a list. Murray, O.J. Simpson and Jim Brown are the only players to open a season with five straight 100-yard rushing games.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Bengals; 4, Eagles; 5, Chargers.

SI.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 2

Seahawks comment: Russell Wilson is making so many plays that it’s hard to know which football video game to compare him to right now. Monday night at Washington, he had a couple of those Michael Vick circa Madden 2004 plays where everyone clears out and the quarterback runs wild. And he also completed a late pass to Marshawn Lynch that was straight out of Tecmo Bowl — just drop back, like, the entire length of the field and then throw it over top.

Cowboys ranking: No. 7

Cowboys comment: Dan Bailey missed a field goal Sunday — a 53-yarder for the win at the end of regulation. And that’s about all the Cowboys have had to complain about over the past four weeks, a stretch that has produced four wins.

Oh, and Bailey came back with an overtime make to take down the Texans.

Top five: 1, Chargers; 2, Seahawks; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Colts.

USA TODAY

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Now just imagine if the referees permitted Percy Harvin to set foot in the end zone every once in a while

Cowboys ranking: No. 7

Cowboys comment: The real gift of rushing leader DeMarco Murray? He and Dallas are moving the chains with a league-best 56% third-down success rate.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2,  Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Colts; 5, Eagles.

PRO FOOTBALL TALK/NBCSPORTS.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: It’s one thing to have a mobile quarterback. It’s quite another to have a mobile quarterback who knows how to use his mobility the right way.

Cowboys ranking: No. 9

Cowboys comment: Based on the numbers of Texans fans at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, America’s Team apparently is no longer Dallas’s.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2,  Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Cardinals; 5, Eagles.

CBSSPORTS.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: They’ve climbed their way back to the top as the league’s best team. Russell Wilson put on a show Monday night.

Cowboys ranking: No. 7.

Cowboys comment: At 4-1, they are one of the major surprises of the season. Who saw this coming?

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2,  Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Bengals; 5, Cardinals.

YAHOO.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Russell Wilson is a magician.

Cowboys ranking: No. 7

Cowboys comment:  Given the degree of difficulty and the game situation, Dez Bryant’s overtime catch might end up being the NFL’s catch of the year.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2,  Broncos; 3, Bengals; 4, Chargers; 5, Eagles.

NFL.COM

Seahawks ranking: No. 2

Seahawks comment: Percy Harvin had the most spectacular night in NFL history among players who scored three non-touchdowns. That last sucker was a thing of beauty — a 41-yard rainbow that fluttered down like a Seattle rain drop right into the mitts of a sprinting Harvin. Those wondering why the Seahawks aren’t No. 1 — like colleague @ChrisWesseling — should remember the head-to-head loss to San Diego in Week 2. That doesn’t mean everything, but considering the Chargers have outscored their opponents 133 to 63 this season, we have to keep Seattle parked here … for now.

Cowboys ranking: No. 12

Cowboys comment: Somebody drive down to Greenville or go to the snobby Uptown area (which was Nowheresville in 1997) and hand out Cowboys tickets. Seriously, can some Dallas-based celebrity do this? Maybe somebody like, oh, Jerry Jones? As mesmerizing as the house that Jones built might be, the ‘Boys have absolutely no home-field advantage. #discouraging

Top five: 1, Chargers; 2, Seahawks; 3, Broncos; 4, Bengals; 5, Packers.

WASHINGTON POST

Seahawks ranking: No. 2

Seahawks comment: Yes, Russell Wilson benefits from the Seahawks’ running game and defense. But there’s little doubt he has become an elite QB. He demonstrated that again Monday night. Still, the defending champs again failed to show they can play at a high level on the road as well as at home, having three Percy Harvin TDs negated by penalties and ultimately doing just enough to get out of FedEx Field with a win.

Cowboys ranking: No. 6

Cowboys comment: How long will this prosperity last? Few would have expected a 4-1 start but the Cowboys are sticking to their formula of playing better-than-expected defense, running DeMarco Murray behind an outstanding offensive line and getting contributions from QB Tony Romo when needed. One issue now becomes whether Murray’s heavy workload will wear him down as the season progresses. Things get serious from here, with a game at Seattle this weekend followed by NFC East clashes at home against the Giants and Redskins.

Top five: 1, Chargers; 2, Seahawks; 3, Broncos; 4, Colts; 5, Packers.

AZCENTRAL.COM (ARIZONA REPUBLIC)

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: They’re still No. 1, even though I predicted they would lose Monday night at Washington – and for a while, it looked like it might happen. But the Seahawks finished the job, and we’ll see if they can do the same this week at home against the surging Cowboys

Cowboys ranking: No. 4

Cowboys comment: It was a thriller, but the Cowboys didn’t disappoint in their big Texas-sized showdown with Houston, winning by a field goal in OT. Up next, it’s a tricky trip to Seattle for a date with you-know-who and we’ll see if Dallas is up to the challenge. If they eliminate the silly mistakes, I’ll give the Cowboys a chance here.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Cowboys; 5, Eagles.

DETROIT NEWS

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: With another superb performance by Russell Wilson’s arm (201 passing yards, 2 touchdowns) and his legs (122 rushing yards, TD), they were able to hold off Washington.

Cowboys ranking: No. 8

Cowboys comment: The victories aren’t necessarily pretty, but in the NFL, wins are wins. Beating the Texans in overtime is a first step; a bigger test is ahead this week against the Seahawks.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Eagles; 5, 49ers.

NORTHEAST OHIO MEDIA GROUP

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Quarterback Russell Wilson continues to make incredible plays. With a great running game led by Marshawn Lynch and stout defense on his side, the Seahawks remain the best team in the league.

Cowboys ranking: No. 9

Cowboys comments: After the Week One loss, the Cowboys looked destined to underachieve once again. But they have won four in a row. The Cowboys have found a formula on offense, handing the ball to DeMarco Murray, and it’s led to Dallas having the No. 2 rushing attack in the league.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Bengals; 5, Cardinals.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Pete Carroll has the most balance team in the NFL, and its success begins with the passing and running of quarterback Russell Wilson.

Cowboys ranking: No. 5

Cowboys comment: If DeMarco Murray rushes for at least 100 yards, he and Jim Brown will be the only players to reach 100 in the first six games of a season.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Eagles; 5, Cowboys.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Sloppy win as Russell Wilson shows off his legs.

Cowboys ranking: No. 5

Cowboys comment: The Cowboys showing grit over glitz? Does Jerry know about this?

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, 49ers; 5, Cowboys.

NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: Russell Wilson puts on show with 122 rushing yards and 201 yards passing.

Cowboys ranking: No. 9

Cowboys comment: The four-game winning streak will be tested in Seattle.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Bengals; 5, Cardinals.

TAMPA TRIBUNE

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: The NFL’s No. 1 run defense will be tested by DeMarco Murray.

Cowboys ranking: No. 4.

Cowboys comment: Trading in the glitz for the grit has worked wonders in Big D.

Top five: No. 1 Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Cowboys; 5, Patriots.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (COMPOSITE)

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Cowboys ranking: No. 6

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4,

SB NATION

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: While some teams such as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks remain at the top of the power rankings, preseason afterthoughts like the Dallas Cowboys have come to the forefront.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2, Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Eagles; 5, Bengals.

Cowboys ranking: No. 7

Cowboys comment: Tony Romo appears recovered from a back injury that knocked him out near the end of 2013, while the defense that many assumed would be the team’s Achilles heal has performed admirably en route to a 4-1 start. This despite losing star middle linebacker Sean Lee before the season even began. Replacement Rolando McClain has returned from his self-imposed early retirement and provided surprisingly competent play.

BLEACHER REPORT

Seahawks ranking: No. 1

Seahawks comment: The Seahawks hadn’t played in what felt like weeks, but on Monday night they made quick work of Jay Gruden’s Washington team after a long trip across the country for the prime-time game.

It should be no surprise that the Seahawks weren’t their normal, elite selves on the road—legend has it this team struggles away from the comfortable confines of the Northwest. But the fact that Seattle won in spite of penalties, missed chances and uncharacteristically limited play from the offensive playmakers not named Russell Wilson speaks volumes of this team’s ability.

I always say that great teams learn how to win games even when they have an off day, and right now the Seahawks are the kings of that.

Cowboys ranking: No. 7

Cowboys comment: OK. Time to admit it. The Dallas Cowboys are for real.

A victory over the Houston Texans isn’t a season-defining win or anything, but the way in which the Cowboys keep winning games proves that they’re a legitimate contender.

Head coach Jason Garrett has accepted that his offensive line and running game are the strength of the team—and the longer DeMarco Murray is on the field, the less time their questionable defense has to be out there. Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli are coaching their tails off, and that has allowed playmakers like Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Murray and Terrance Williams to thrive.

The Cowboys were not a trendy preseason pick, but right now they’re playing as well as any team in the league.

Top five: 1, Seahawks; 2,  Broncos; 3, Chargers; 4, Colts; 5, Bengals.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►