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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 8 roundup for the Cowboys in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 6

Prediction we missed: Dalton Schultz's production.

I thought Schultz's numbers last year -- 63 catches, 615 yards, four touchdowns -- were more a product of a lost season and not those of an ascending player. This year he is on pace for 88 catches for 1,017 yards and nine touchdowns. Whoops. He understands soft spots in coverages. He is better than expected with his runs after the catch, and he is a serviceable blocker. I thought Blake Jarwin would return to the starter role after coming back from his knee injury, but Schultz has exceeded expectations. That's good for the Cowboys, and also bad because his price tag as a free-agent-to-be is going up and up. -- Todd Archer

NFL.com -- Rank: 4

Life was good for the 5-1 Cowboys as they reached their Week 7 bye, even if Dak Prescott's calf injury presents an ominous cloud above The Star. Prescott suffered the injury on the final play of Dallas' Week 6 overtime win over the Patriots, and despite positive reports, ongoing concern is warranted. The Cowboys are essentially playing without a safety net: The team's backup behind Prescott is none other than ... checks notes ... Cooper Rush, the 27-year-old undrafted free agent who has completed one pass (for 2 yards) in five professional seasons. Considering the nature of Prescott's season-ending injury in 2020, should the Cowboys have made a greater effort to retain Andy Dalton in the offseason? Were Prescott to have a setback, could Dalton return before the trade deadline?

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

The health of Dak Prescott bears watching as he comes off the bye with a calf issue. They face a tough road trip to Minnesota Sunday night.

USA Today -- Rank: 4

After resting his calf strain during bye week, is QB Dak Prescott ready to help set a Dallas record by leading "Dem Boyz" to a fifth consecutive game with at least 35 points?

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

Trick or treat: The Cowboys are scary even when it's not Halloween season. Trevon Diggs has been all over the place for the much-improved defense, and a healthy offense can attack in multiple ways. The rest of the NFC East is basically like stale candy and should be thrown away, but the Cowboys have enough firepower to think about playing for big prizes. Get ready for the usual run of Cowboys prime-time and spotlight games over the next six weeks, but this time the attention seems deserved. This team can score with anyone.

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