After the first quarter of the season, and for the third time in as many editions we have a new team atop the Power Rankings in the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys. So far in this young season, the NFC is staking claim to being the better conference with both conferences boasting 9 teams at or over .500(at this current moment) but with the NFC having 3 undefeated teams in the Cowboys, Bucs and Panthers who coincidentally make up the top 3 in this week’s Power Rankings…. 1) Dallas Cowboys(Prev:3) – The Cowboys take over as the new #1 in this week’s Power Rankings after victories over the Saints and Giants in weeks 3 and 4. Tony Romo continues to be on a tear throwing for over 1150 yards and 9 touchdowns while Felix Jones and Tashard Choice bring a stable running game averaging 88 yards a game. The defense however is the strength of this team coming in at 2nd in points allowed, 7th in yards allowed, 8th in pass yards and 13th in rushing yards allowed. Will the Cowboys continue the early season trend of #1’s falling once being atop the power rankings or will they shake the trend and continue their early season dominance? 2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers(Prev:4) – Up 2 spots from last week, the Bucs land at #2 in this week’s rankings and yes Doug, you deserve it. Unlike previous seasons where the Bucs relied solely on ball control and their strong defense to win games, the young talented Bucs offense is off to a hot start behind QB Robert You putting up 30 points a game. However, like the Cowboys above the strongest part of this team is this defense that is arguably the best in the league ranking 1st in points and yards allowed while coming in at 5th in passing yards and 4th in rushing yards. Can the Bucs keep it up for an entire season? We will see…. 3) Carolina Panthers(Prev:6) – Landing at #3, another NFC South team in the Carolina Panthers. After a shootout against the Bears in week 3 and a thumping of the Raiders in week 4 the Panthers appear to be rolling. The triple threat of Jimmy Clausen, DeAngelo Williams and Lavon Waiters lead one of the league’s best offenses with rankings of 3rd in points, 2nd in yards and 3rd in rushing yards. The defense is doing its part also with rankings of 3rd in points, 6th in yards allowed and 4th in rushing yards allowed. The Panthers will be in a dogfight with the Bucs all season, will they have enough to overtake last year’s NFC South champ? 4) Indianapolis Colts(Prev:2) – Tumbling 2 spots from #2 we have the Colts at #4. After a loss to the Browns the Colts rebounded with an impressive win against the rival Tennessee Titans. So far, Peyton Manning doesn’t appear to be off to a start we are accustomed to already throwing for 9 picks to 8 touchdowns and the team is paying for it. The defense is putting up respectable numbers with their best stat being 5th in points allowed but will they be able to overcome Peyton’s turnover problems for an entire season? 5) New York Jets(Prev:8) – The Jets move up 3 spots after taking out previous #1 St. Louis Rams and rival Bills in back to back weeks. Offensively this team is clicking coming in 2nd in points, 4th in yards and 1st in yards(thanks to a sim win). It’s the defense that continues to be the problem with the Jets coming in the lower half in points, yards and passing yards allowed. The defense is still forcing turnovers but needs to improve if they have any chance at repeating as Super Bowl Champs. If the defense doesn’t step up, will Mark Sanchez and this potent offense be enough to lead them to the promise land again? 6) St. Louis Rams(Prev:1) – Falling 5 spots from #1 the Rams land at #6. The Rams rebounded after their loss to the Jets with a big divisional win against the Cards in week 4. Boasting the league’s best offense, it’s obvious the Rams plan is to outscore you and force you into mistakes. The Rams lead the league in points, yards and passing yards while coming in at #10 in rushing yards. The acquisition of Vince Young is paying huge dividends as it appears he has taken over the majority of the snaps and is taking advantage throwing for almost 900 yards and 10 touchdown with only 8 incompletions while also rushing for 135 and 4 touchdowns. Can Vince Young continue this hot start for an entire season? 7) Oakland Raiders(Prev:5) – The self proclaimed Super Bowl Champs fall 2 spots after a 1-1 week including a thumping to the aforementioned Panthers. Stat wise this team isn’t going to blow you away, they just flat out win and know how to. The loss of “the human joystick” Jacoby Ford will be huge as the team relied on him for good field position and to spark the team with his exciting returns. Was the loss to the Panthers an aberration or did it show a chink in the Raiders armor? 8) Cleveland Browns(Prev:UR) – Our first new entry into this week’s Power Rankings the Browns come in at #8. Backed by a ball control offense and a stingy defense the Browns are out to show last year’s playoff run was no fluke. The addition of QB Carson Palmer appears to have opened up the Browns offense as they now have a reliable guy throwing the ball to pair with the tough running of Beanie Wells. The defense is the backbone of this team coming in 10th in pts, 4th in yards and 6th in yard allowed. Can the young talented defense carry this team all season or will Carson step up as he gets used to the offense? 9) Houston Texans(Prev:9) – Staying pat from last week, the Houston Texans remain at #9. After a bye in week 3, the Texans were able to get a win against the Chargers in week 4. Brandon Boutte continues to be amazing racking up close to 600 all purpose yards in just 4 weeks. However, as with most teams on this list the Texans are led by their defense coming in 4th in points, 5th in yards, 10th in passing yards and 7th in rushing yards. The question remains, can anyone other than Brandon Boutte carry the load on offense if Boutte has an off game? 10) Miami Dolphins(Prev:UR) – Rounding out the top 10 we have the Miami Dolphins. After a loss to open the season the Phins have won 3 in a row behind the arm of offseason addition Josh Freeman(thanks Doug!) who has thrown for over 950 yards and 4 touchdowns. With Freeman at the helm, the Phins finally have the signal caller they’ve been searching for to keep defenses honest with CJ2k in the backfield. Team stats don’t jump out with this team but with the game on the line, there’s not many other QB’s you would want to have the ball in the hands than Josh Freeman. Will the Phins continue to find ways to win as the season goes on and the schedule gets tougher?