Power Rankings: No. 13 Dallas Cowboys

A weekly examination of the Cowboys’ ESPN.com Power Ranking

Preseason: 20 | Last week: 10 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Last week the Dallas Cowboys cracked the top 10 in the ESPN.com Power Rankings for the first time, but their 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions stopped their momentum and moved them back to a familiar No. 13 spot.

The Cowboys fell from the fifth-best team in the NFC down to the seventh; the Lions and Carolina Panthers jumped over them. Jamison Hensley dropped the Cowboys four spots to No. 14 in his voting, and John Clayton, who was at Ford Field on Sunday, had them at No. 12. Ashley Fox, Mike Sando, Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano put Dallas at No. 13 in their rankings.

The Cowboys' four losses have been by a combined 14 points. The worst loss was a nine-point decision against the San Diego Chargers. They have had two one-point losses and lost on a last-second field goal to the Denver Broncos. They have had chances to win every game but have failed to make plays when it has mattered most.

The Cowboys have proved they can beat subpar teams (4-0). They have not shown they can beat teams that are .500 or better (0-4). This week they get the Minnesota Vikings (1-6) at AT&T Stadium, so they should inch above the break-even mark once again. But then they play the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 10, which means they’ll likely fall back to .500 again.

If there’s some good news for the Cowboys it’s that they play only three teams currently with a winning record the rest of the way.