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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Dallas Cowboys

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Dallas Cowboys rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 5 roundup for the Cowboys in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Biggest surprise: Defensive takeaways

Why it's a surprise: The Cowboys have 10 takeaways in four games, which is second in the league and the best in the NFC. How did this happen? They did not record their 10th takeaway a year ago until the 11th game of the season. It helps that Trevon Diggs is having a breakout season with five interceptions in the first four games. The last Cowboy cornerback to have five interceptions in a season was Terence Newman in 2010. The defense still has some faults, but if it can continue to get takeaways, that will give an offense that is rolling more possessions. Right now, the Cowboys have a perfect feel for complementary football. -- Todd Archer

NFL.com -- Rank: 6

The explosive Cowboys offense has garnered much of the headlines in the early going, but the biggest breakout star is playing on the other side of the ball. Cornerback Trevon Diggs is up to five interceptions on the season after two Sam Darnold picks helped produce 10 Dallas points in a 36-28 win over the Panthers at Jerrah World. The 23-year-old became the first Cowboy since the merger to record an interception in each of the first four games of a season. Carolina got back into the game in the fourth quarter -- a portion of the contest Diggs watched from the sideline with what the team termed "tightness in his back." The young playmaker's presence on the field has quickly become essential.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 8

After losing their opener on the road, they have really come on strong. The biggest surprise is how well the defense is playing for coordinator Dan Quinn.

USA Today -- Rank: 5

QB Dak Prescott received copious credit last year for carrying this team early. He's getting it again now, even though Dallas' three-game win streak has largely been built on opportunistic defense (NFC-high 10 takeaways) and a ground game that's produced at least 150 yards in three successive weeks for the first time in four years.

The Athletic -- Rank: 8

Of the 13 teams with three or four wins, the Cowboys are the only one to have beaten two of the others. With an offense firing on all cylinders and a surprisingly feisty defense that features Trevon Diggs breaking out as a premier cornerback, the Cowboys seem like a good bet to run away with the NFC East. It's not crazy to think they could be the NFC's No. 1 seed by the end of the season.

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