Power Rankings: No. 18 Dallas Cowboys

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

Preseason: 20 | Last Week: 15 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Dallas Cowboys dropped three spots in this week’s ESPN.com Power Rankings after their 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers, but they will have a chance to make a big jump if they can knock off the top-ranked Denver Broncos on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

With the way the Broncos are playing and the way the Cowboys' defense played last week against Philip Rivers (401 yards passing, three touchdowns), that seems like too tall of an order.

Among the voters, Dan Graziano continues to be a believer in the Cowboys, putting them at No. 14 in the rankings, while Kevin Seifert gives them their lowest ranking at No. 21. The Chargers did not receive much of a bump in beating the Cowboys, going from No. 19 to No. 17.

The Cowboys remain the top-rated NFC East team by a decent margin. The Washington Redskins check in at No. 25, but the Cowboys’ two wins this year came against the No. 29 New York Giants and No. 26 St. Louis Rams.

Beating the Broncos and Peyton Manning could be a huge boost, but the Cowboys are so much of a week-to-week team that you cannot predict that it would mean much going into their Week 6 meeting against the Redskins.