NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: Cowboys Can Take NFC East

Payton Matthews | Updated Aug 28, 2020

Dallas Cowboys

Are the Dallas Cowboys ready to take over the NFC East? Oddsmakers have the Cowboys' regular season win total set at 9.5.

The NFL is having incredible success with its COVID-19 testing, and it’s now clear the 2020 season will start as expected on September 10 with the Kickoff Game between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans. Here’s an updated Power Rankings (with win totals) entering the season. Check out all of the Week 1 odds and each team’s win total odds now.

1. Baltimore (11.5): This is the deepest roster in the NFL without question, even with the Ravens recently waiving Pro Bowl safety and likely future Hall of Fame safety Earl Thomas. Still a good player, but perhaps addition by subtraction as Thomas was not well-liked in the locker room.

2. Kansas City (11.5): The Chiefs did take a bit of a hit regarding player opt outs for the season, losing two starters in offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a Quebec native and medical doctor, and running back Damien Williams.

3. New Orleans (10.0): The Saints didn’t lose anyone noteworthy in the opt out and haven’t lost anyone major to injury yet. The players know this is Drew Brees’ last chance at a second Super Bowl ring.

NFL Super Bowl Odds

Super Bowl LV

  • Green Bay Packers +225
  • Kansas City Chiefs +225
  • Buffalo Bills +275
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +350

4. San Francisco (10.5): The Niners are ranked lower than the Saints because Drew Brees is still better than Jimmy Garoppolo, and San Francisco has key players like defensive end Nick Bosa and receiver Deebo Samuel dealing with injuries. Neither may be ready for Week 1 – especially Samuel.

5. Dallas (9.5): I would argue this is the best overall roster in the NFC, especially after the Cowboys recently signed former Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen. If they also add Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas before Week 1, the Cowboys are the team to beat in the conference. They might be anyway.

6. Seattle (9.0): The Seahawks still are in the running for former Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who played in Seattle last year. The team needs his pass-rush ability, but the trade for Jamal Adams already has boosted the defence.

7. Tampa Bay (9.5): Since our last rankings, the Bucs filled one hole at running back in signing former NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy. This Tom Brady-led offence could be spectacular.

8. Buffalo (8.5): This writer is clearly higher on the Bills than oddsmakers, but Buffalo will win its first division title since 1995 barring QB Josh Allen getting injured/regressing.

9. Minnesota (9.0): The Vikings will win the NFC North, but if there’s one concern it’s a pair of two new starting, and young, cornerbacks. In addition, defensive tackle Michael Pierce opted out.

10. Philadelphia (9.5): The Eagles probably won’t repeat in the NFC East because of the loaded Cowboys. It is worrisome that Philly hasn’t found a capable backup running back to young Miles Sanders, who already is dealing with an injury (but likely ready for Week 1).

11. Green Bay (9.5): The Packers might have been more lucky than good last year as their amazing record in one-score games isn’t sustainable. They also have major issues at receiver.

12. Indianapolis (8.5): Maybe the NFL’s best offensive line. If Philip Rivers can avoid turnovers, the Colts will take the AFC South.

13. Pittsburgh (9.0): Ben Roethlisberger is back, and the Steelers pretty much never miss the playoffs three years in a row.

14. Tennessee (8.5): The Titans are overrated in my book and Ryan Tannehill is going to regress, but they have Derrick Henry, who can win games by himself.

15. New England (9.5): Hard to bet against Bill Belichick, but there are so many questions on this team, starting with Cam Newton. In addition, the Pats lost a league-high eight players to opt outs.

16. Houston (7.5): The worst trade of the offseason was Bill O’Brien sending All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for draft picks. Still, the Texans will contend for a playoff spot simply due to Deshaun Watson.

17. Denver (7.5): GM John Elway beefed up the offence with Melvin Gordon and rookie wideouts Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler this offseason. If Drew Lock takes a big step forward in Year 2, this ranking is way too low.

18. Cleveland (8.5): It all rides on Baker Mayfield. If he plays like he did as a rookie, the NFL’s longest division title drought could end with all the talent around him. If he plays like he did as a sophomore, the Browns have yet another non-winning season.

19. Arizona (7.5): A definite sleeper in the NFC with Kyler Murray now throwing to former Texans All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

20. Chicago (8.5): Super Bowl-calibre defense. Last-place-calibre offence – and now top running back David Montgomery could miss the first week or two with a groin injury.

21. Los Angeles Chargers (7.5): Veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor will open as the starting quarterback, but he’s simply holding the seat of rookie Justin Herbert. The defence is one of the AFC’s best.

22. Las Vegas (7.5): A definite bummer that there will be no fans at Raiders home games in their debut season in Sin City. If the Raiders sign Jadeveon Clowney, move them up a few spots.

23. Los Angeles Rams (8.5): Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks and Clay Matthews all gone for salary reasons. QB Jared Goff is regressing. We will see how good of a coach Sean McVay is this year.

24. Detroit (6.5): Some notable experts have picked the Lions to steal the NFC North this season, and it is an underrated team. Just not sure Matt Patricia is the right coach.

25. Atlanta (7.5): Oddsmakers have the Lions’ Patricia as the favourite to be the first coach fired. The Falcons’ Dan Quinn is second – we think Quinn probably “wins” that prop.

26. Cincinnati (5.5): QB Joe Burrow is the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favourite, and ownership finally spent some money this offseason, mostly on defence.

27. Miami (6.0): Veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has won the starting QB job, but expect to see rookie Tua Tagovailoa by Week 6. Then the Fins could really improve.

28. New York Giants (6.5): It will be another long football season in New York/New Jersey.

29. New York Jets (6.5): It will be another long football season in New York/New Jersey. The Jets have lost their two best defensive players in linebacker CJ Mosley (opt out) and Jamal Adams (trade).

30: Carolina (5.5): Christian McCaffrey and not much else.

31. Jacksonville (5.0): If the Falcons’ Dan Quinn isn’t the first coach fired, it will be the Jaguars’ Doug Marrone.

32. Washington (5.0): Doesn’t even have a nickname this year. No. 2 overall pick Chase Young, the Defensive Rookie of the Year favourite, already is injured (hip flexor).