For nine games this season Dak Prescott has made the Cowboys a Super Bowl contender. Everybody could see it, including Tony Romo.
The face of the Cowboys' decision to back out of any quarterback controversy upon returning from injury Tuesday was one of the most gracious things I've ever seen in sports.
Make no mistake, Romo is a Pro Bowl quarterback that, when healthy, has made an often dysfunctional Dallas team a playoff contender for most of the last decade. But this is the right call.
The aging Romo is coming off a broken back and hasn't played a meaningful game since last season. Meanwhile, Prescott has demonstrated remarkable poise for a rookie and, along with running back Ezekiel Elliott, has given the Cowboys an incredible one, two punch that makes them one of the favorites to get to Houston for Super Bowl LI.
Here's this week's top five from my power rankings, and where I'd place the Titans through 10 games.
Dallas improved to a remarkable 5-0 on the road this year, beating the Steelers Sunday in Pittsburgh on Ezekiel Elliott's 32-yard touchdown run in the final minute. The run play was the perfect call against a pressuring defense at that time and capped off an impressive 114 yard, two touchdown day for Elliott. But you can't forget the job of Prescott, who led the 'boys on back to back touchdown drives in the final 4:00 to outduel Ben Roethlisberger. Dallas has now won eight straight games and has outscored opponents by a league best 88 points per game.
I did not see a Seattle win at New England coming. The Pats' offense had seemed invincible since Tom Brady returned from his Deflategate suspension in week five and, frankly, the Seahawks haven't demonstrated the consistent offensive firepower this season to win that kind of a shootout. But Russell Wilson continues to prove he is a big game quarterback. He's shaken off a leg injury early in the season to play some of his best football, and he was brilliant Sunday night. The game-winning touchdown pass was a red zone dime and held up after another Seattle/New England game was decided at the goal line, this time in the Seahawks' favor.
New England falls from the top spot on this list following a home loss that perhaps showed a chink in the armor for Brady and company. Even so, the Pats sit at 7-2 and on their way to another AFC East crown, and likely homefield advantage in the playoffs with the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos all having to face each other in the seasons' final seven weeks.
Speaking of those AFC West rivals, the Raiders narrowly edge out the Chiefs for the fourth spot in the power rankings by virtue of their recent win over the Broncos. Like the Cowboys, Oakland is 5-0 on the road this season led by dynamic young quarterback Derek Carr. With a stable of capable receivers to throw to headlined by Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, Carr and Oakland have one of the best passing games in football and it's translated to three straight wins and a first place tie in the division.
Oakland remains tied atop the AFC West only because Kansas City refuses to lose. The Chiefs have won five straight games buoyed by a perfect home record at Arrowhead Stadium. Alex Smith has quietly had a great season and Spencer Ware has done a decent job in place of the banged up Jamaal Charles in the backfield. The Chiefs also boast a top 10 scoring defense that's allowed just over 18 points per game.
Coming off a 47-25 thrashing of the fading Packers Sunday, Tennessee has moved into its highest ranking of the season and this poll. When you consider the shape of this team in recent years it's safe to say the Titans are in their best position 10 games into a season in quite some time. At 5-5, they have already equaled their win total from the past two seasons combined, and have an opportunity to put some pressure on the AFC South leading Texans the next two weeks with a division game at Indianapolis followed by a game with the struggling Bears.