A weekly examination of the Cowboys' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 20 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Dallas Cowboys climbed three spots in the ESPN.com Power Rankings with their win against the Washington Redskins. They will meet the No. 11 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the de facto NFC East championship game at AT&T Stadium.
Sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that Dallas quarterback Tony Romo will not play. However, the club has not ruled the quarterback out. Maybe they are hoping against hope. Either way, it's a good bet Romo's status had something to do with the ranking handed the Cowboys.
Romo’s injury had to play a factor into the decisions of Mike Sando and Jamison Hensley to rank the Cowboys at 20th and 19th, respectively. Ashley Fox and John Clayton (No. 12) were not so moved by the news with Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano checking them in at Nos. 13 and 14.
All would appear to be lost without Romo, but the Cowboys have proved to be a resilient team. Can backup QB Kyle Orton deliver the Cowboys to the playoffs with a Week 17 win? If he doesn’t, then the Cowboys will finish 8-8 for the third straight year.