Pro Football Focus released a ranking of all 32 NFL teams in which the Dallas Cowboys were appropriately ranked 12th.
This may come as a shock because the Cowboys are reigning NFC East champions coming off a 12-5 season. But here’s why the ranking makes sense:
Cowboys deserving of 12th spot
Dallas took significant losses in personnel from 2021 going into this season. Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson and Randy Gregory are all playing elsewhere and the Cowboys haven’t added any proven pieces to replace those departures.
Dallas drafted some exciting rookies in Tyler Smith, Sam Williams and Jalen Tolbert. But expecting them to step in and dominate as first-year players isn’t realistic.
Besides the aforementioned reasons, PFF cited that while many teams got better this offseason, Dallas ‘spun its wheels’. It’s hard to argue against that considering Dallas’ biggest free agency additions have been receiver James Washington, linebacker Dante Fowler and fullback Ryan Nall.
You know it’s been a tough offseason when Nall, who has rushed for 71 total yards in three seasons as a pro, is a headline free agency pick up.
Who Dallas should’ve been ranked ahead of
While we mostly agree with PFF’s assessment of the 2022 Cowboys, they did overvalue one team.
The Baltimore Ravens were ranked one spot ahead of the Cowboys at 11th. The biggest question mark for Baltimore is how their offense will move the ball through the air. They have dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews is coming off an All-Pro season, but things get sparse beyond that.
They traded away wideout Marquise Brown whose 1,008 receiving yards were the second most on last year’s team. Now, Rashod Bateman, who recorded 515 receiving yards in 12 games last season, takes WR1 duties. Behind Bateman on the depth chart is Devin Duvernay and James Proche, who combined for 474 receiving yards last year.
They’ll get running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards back after both missed all of 2021 due to injury. But one injury to Bateman or Andrews and the offense will have trouble putting up points.
Teams undervalued by PFF
The Indianapolis Colts ranked 15th on PFF’s list, despite finishing last season 9-8 and one win shy of a playoff berth.
Indianapolis brought in veteran Matt Ryan to replace Carson Wentz after the former Philadelphia Eagles QB had a bad season on the field and in the locker room.
PFF also posted an article earlier this month that ranked the Colts running back trio of Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Phillip Lindsay as the second-best backfield in football.
The Colts also play in the same division as two of the NFL’s worst teams: the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.
The Las Vegas Raiders finished 2021 with a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance, yet rank 16th on PFF’s list.
This offseason, they made two massive additions to the roster.
Davante Adams joins the Raiders after having the third-most receiving yards and the fifth-most receiving touchdowns in the NFL last season. Chandler Jones is coming off a Pro-Bowl season with 10.5 sacks, the 13th most in the NFL.
Adding two big pieces to a team with studs in every position group should’ve garnered more respect from PFF.