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Cowboys Making Playoff Push Behind Big D in Dallas: Ultimate NFL Power Rankings Week 14

During a four-game winning streak, the Dallas defense has given up an average of 18 points per game.

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Winners of four in a row – including an eye-popping dismantling of the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football last week – the Dallas Cowboys are one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

And, with a battle for first place in the NFC East against the 6-6 Philadelphia Eagles on the docket in Week 14, the timing for 7-5 Dallas to be playing its best ball couldn’t be better.

Over the course of their four-game winning streak, the Cowboys have been surrendering an average of 18 points per game, just north of the league-best 17.8 points the Ravens have been allowing this season.

The ‘Boys did struggle on offense last week with just 13 points scored, but in the three games before that, buoyed by the addition of All-Pro wideout Amari Cooper via a much-maligned trade,  the Cowboys scored an average of 23.3 points, well above their season-long average of 20.6 points scored.

Those numbers should only improve over the final four games of the season as, in addition to the Eagles, the Cowboys will face the 6-6 Colts, 5-7 Buccaneers, and 4-8 Giants.

With the exception of the Colts, none of those teams have a positive point-differential and they have all had plenty of issues on the defensive side of the ball.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s 2018 NFL predictions, the Cowboys’ playoff chances currently sit at 81 percent by virtue of them winning the NFC East. However, should they win in Week 14 against the second-place Eagles, the Cowobys’ odds of making the postseason would rise all the way to 98 percent while the Eagles would be nearly eliminated from contention.

A joke for much of the early season after starting 3-5 and struggling on both side of the ball, the Cowboys have the look of a formidable and well-rounded playoff team thanks to an improved attack and a peaking defense.

But how do the power rankers from ESPNNFL.com, and USA Today see it?

Find out in the latest edition of RealClearLife‘s Ultimate NFL Power Rankings, which combine ratings from those three outlets to get a single rank for all 32 teams in NFL and use segmented tiers to arrange them.

Also, for an even greater perspective on how the season has been progressing, check out how each team’s season average ranking compares with where they finished this week and last.

The Best of the Best (1.00-5.33)

No. 1.33, last 2.00, two weeks ago 2.00, season average 1.66: Los Angeles Rams (ESPN, 1), (NFL.com, 2), (USA Today, 1)

No. 1.66, last 1.00, two weeks ago 1.00, season average 3.71: New Orleans Saints (ESPN, 2), (NFL.com, 1), (USA Today, 2)

No. 3.33, last 4.00, two weeks ago 5.00, season average 4.65: New England Patriots (ESPN, 4), (NFL.com, 3), (USA Today, 3)

No. 3.66, last 3.00, two weeks ago 3.00, season average 3.25: Kansas City Chiefs (ESPN, 3), (NFL.com, 4), (USA Today, 4)

No. 5.00, last 5.00, two weeks ago 6.33, season average 7.71: Los Angeles Chargers (ESPN, 5), (NFL.com, 5), (USA Today, 5)

The Best of the Rest (5.34-10.66)

No. 6.00, last 7.66, two weeks ago 8.00, season average 15.99: Houston Texans (ESPN, 6), (NFL.com, 6), (USA Today, 6)

No. 7.33, last 6.33, two weeks ago 4.00, season average 8.58: Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN, 7), (NFL.com, 7), (USA Today, 8)

No. 8.33, last 7.00, two weeks ago 6.66, season average 11.61: Chicago Bears (ESPN, 8), (NFL.com, 8), (USA Today, 9)

No. 9.33, last 13.33, two weeks ago 15.00, season average 18.86: Dallas Cowboys (ESPN, 11), (NFL.com, 10), (USA Today, 7)

No. 9.66, last 10.66, two weeks ago 12.00, season average 17.74: Seattle Seahawks (ESPN, 9), (NFL.com, 9), (USA Today, 11)

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance (10.67-15.99)

No. 11.33, last 11.66, two weeks ago 12.66, season average 11.76: Baltimore Ravens (ESPN, 10), (NFL.com, 11), (USA Today, 13)

No. 12.00, last 9.00, two weeks ago 9.33, season average 8.71: Minnesota Vikings (ESPN, 12), (NFL.com, 12), (USA Today, 12)

No. 13.00, last 15.33, two weeks ago 20.33, season average 20.12: Denver Broncos (ESPN, 15), (NFL.com, 14), (USA Today, 10)

No. 13.66, last 12.00, two weeks ago 13.33, season average 22.12: Indianapolis Colts (ESPN, 13), (NFL.com, 13), (USA Today, 15)

No. 15.33, last 14.00, two weeks ago 9.66, season average 9.66: Carolina Panthers (ESPN, 14), (NFL.com, 16), (USA Today, 16)

No. 15.33, last 18.33, two weeks ago 21.33, season average 11.53: Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN, 17), (NFL.com, 15), (USA Today, 14)

Stuck in the Middle with You (16.00-21.32)

No. 17.00, last 18.33, two weeks ago 17.00, season average 18.38: Tennessee Titans (ESPN, 16), (NFL.com, 17), (USA Today, 18)

No. 18.33, last 15.66, two weeks ago 14.00, season average 14.84: Washington Redskins (ESPN, 18), (NFL.com, 18), (USA Today, 19)

No. 19.00, last 22.66, two weeks ago 21.00, season average 18.71: Miami Dolphins (ESPN, 20), (NFL.com, 20), (USA Today, 17)

No. 21.00, last 20.66, two weeks ago 23.33, season average 22.56: Cleveland Browns (ESPN, 22), (NFL.com, 21), (USA Today, 20)

No. 21.00, last 17.00, two weeks ago 15.66, season average 12.66: Green Bay Packers (ESPN, 19), (NFL.com, 19), (USA Today, 25)

It’s Probably Not Your Year  (21.33-26.65)

No. 22.33, last 21.00, two weeks ago 20.33, season average 16.40: Atlanta Falcons (ESPN, 21), (NFL.com, 25), (USA Today, 21)

No. 24.00, last 26.00, two weeks ago 26.00, season average 26.79: New York Giants (ESPN, 26), (NFL.com, 24), (USA Today, 22)

No. 24.00, last 26.33, two weeks ago 27.00, season average 21.10: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN, 23), (NFL.com, 26), (USA Today, 23)

No. 24.33, last 21.66, two weeks ago 20.66, season average 22.84: Detroit Lions (ESPN, 27), (NFL.com, 22), (USA Today, 24)

No. 26.00, last 26.33, two weeks ago 28.00, season average 28.86: Buffalo Bills (ESPN, 28), (NFL.com, 23), (USA Today, 27)

No. 26.33, last 23.00, two weeks ago 19.00, season average 14.86: Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN, 25), (NFL.com, 28), (USA Today, 26)

No. 26.33, last 27.00, two weeks ago 24.33, season average 15.53: Jacksonville Jaguars (ESPN, 24), (NFL.com, 27), (USA Today, 28)

See You in 2019  (26.66-32.00)

No. 30.00, last 29.66, two weeks ago 29.66, season average 26.66: New York Jets (ESPN, 29), (NFL.com, 32), (USA Today, 29)

No. 30.33, last 32.00, two weeks ago 32.00, season average 30.66: Arizona Cardinals (ESPN, 30), (NFL.com, 30), (USA Today, 31)

No. 30.33, last 30.66, two weeks ago 30.66, season average 30.43: Oakland Raiders (ESPN, 32), (NFL.com, 29), (USA Today, 30)

No. 31.33, last 29.66, two weeks ago 29.66, season average 28.63: San Francisco 49ers (ESPN, 31), (NFL.com, 31), (USA Today, 32)