Two weeks ago, there were many out there ready to bury the Dallas Cowboys and fire coach Jason Garrett.
At 5-5, the Cowboys are still a game behind the Washington Redskins, who they play Thursday (4:30 p.m. ET, Fox, stream on fuboTV, try for free), but the Redskins lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season with a broken leg.
So Dallas is the class of the NFC East right now.
Who saw that two weeks ago?
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The Cowboys are up to 12th in my Power Rankings this week, but I think they will be higher in the coming weeks. The defense is getting better by the week, the offensive line and running game with Ezekiel Elliott have come alive and Dak Prescott is making enough plays now.
Garrett was blistered for the first few months, with owner Jerry Jones constantly being asked about his future. Now the Cowboys look poised to make a real push to win the division.
After the Redskins, they play a tough game at home against the 9-1 Saints, but the rest of the schedule isn't daunting.
So this week's game is enormous. I can hardly wait to see the cameras on Jones and his family all during the game on Thanksgiving.
The emotions on their face each and every week – win or lose – are priceless, but lately they've been doing a lot of smiling – and with good reason.
|They just keep on rolling and look to be getting better by the week. The defense is improving.||--||9-8-0|
|They can score on anybody. But that defense has issues. They have to fix it.||--||12-5-0|
|They were dynamic again on offense this week against the Rams, but they also have defensive issues. That has to change.||--||12-5-0|
|They come off their bye with four games in the final six against AFC East teams. That makes life easy down the stretch to get ready for the playoffs.||1||10-7-0|
|It wasn't pretty at Jacksonville, but they found a way late. That's what good teams do.||1||9-7-1|
|They impressed in beating up on the Vikings Sunday night. They are one of the major surprises this season.||2||6-11-0|
|That was a bad home loss to the Broncos. That's not the look of a Super Bowl contender.||3||9-8-0|
|This hardly looks like a team that lost its first three games. Credit Bill O'Brien for the turnaround.||1||4-13-0|
|They have lost two straight games and need to get it turned around starting this week against the Seahawks. Why did they go for two against the Lions?||1||5-12-0|
|Andrew Luck is playing unreal right now and the defense is getting better. Watch out for this team.||5||9-8-0|
|They have a big game this week with the Packers. They better hope the offense plays a lot better than it did against the Bears.||4||8-9-0|
|Two consecutive victories has the Cowboys surging. The defense is going to be tough to beat.||4||12-5-0|
|They can run it and the defense is getting better. Can that get them into the playoffs?||8||7-10-0|
|With the injury to Alex Smith, their playoff chances suddenly look a lot bleaker - even as they lead the division. Colt McCoy is the man for now.||3||7-10-0|
|Lamar Jackson brought life to this team. Now he gets to face an Oakland defense that isn't very good.||5||8-9-0|
|Marcus Mariota's injury is a major concern. Their season turned in a bad way with the loss to the Colts.||4||12-5-0|
|This team needs to win in the worst way this week against the Vikings. If not, could Mike McCarthy be in trouble?||4||13-4-0|
|The Super Bowl hangover is real. They are still alive, but that was an awful showing in New Orleans.||1||9-8-0|
|They come off the bye tied for the final playoff spot and with a soft schedule down the stretch. Can this team actually make it?||--||9-8-0|
|They are 1-4 in their last five games to fall to .500. The season is going bad in a hurry.||6||10-7-0|
|Two straight losses has this team reeling as they head to New Orleans to play the Saints Thursday night.||3||7-10-0|
|They won a game on the road against the Chargers, which keeps their playoff hopes alive. But here come the Steelers.||--||7-10-0|
|They won a game when the Panthers went for two, but now have a short turnaround to play the Bears at home. They need that one to have any playoff shot.||4||3-13-1|
|They come off their bye building for the future. Who will be the coach for that future?||1||8-9-0|
|They've won two straight to give themselves a chance to win the division. They have to beat the Eagles this week, or it's over.||3||4-13-0|
|It's shocking to see them down this low. This season has been a disaster.||--||3-14-0|
|They come off their bye likely with Josh Allen back under center. That's a good thing for the future.||3||11-6-0|
|Six more games and there will be big changes. Jameis Winston has to play the rest of the way - no matter what.||3||13-4-0|
|At least they are still competing, which showed up in their victory over the Cardinals. That shocked me.||3||10-7-0|
|Josh Rosen makes some big-time plays, but also some big mistakes. It's all about 2019 now.||1||11-6-0|
|After a bye, they get back to work with Nick Mullens now the starting quarterback. He's earned that right.||1||10-7-0|
|They come off their bye with one big question: Is Todd Bowles really going to make it through the season?||1||4-13-0|