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Are Cowboys closer to playoffs or No. 1 draft pick?

To be honest, the race for the top overall pick has boiled down to a two-team race, even though the two bottom-feeders in the NFC West could make things interesting.

Then again, the truly interesting thing could be at the bottom of the rankings, where a new team that has avoided the radar thus far has been added.

Who is it? You are just seconds away from finding out. The alternative ranks are ready to start right now.

And without further ado ...



Rare are the teams that can compete both for the playoffs and the first-overall pick in the draft. But the Cowboys are that special kind of team. You look at the roster and there are Pro Bowlers everywhere. But when you watch this team in a must-win important game in Philadelphia, you realize that this could be the least disciplined team in the league. A lot of chips would have to fall into place for the Cowboys to reach the top pick in the draft. But with Tony Romo guiding this team, you can never count them out. Up next: vs. Seattle



St. Louis (1-6)

St. Louis, perhaps caught up in the euphoria of the baseball Cardinals' World Series title, lost focus against the Saints and surprised with a 31-21 win. The race for the top pick is going to be a close one, and mistakes like beating a team like the Saints don't help. Can the team rededicate itself for this week's huge showdown in the desert? Up next: at Arizona



The Broncos could enter the offseason second-guessing their decision to open the year with Kyle Orton, who made the team somewhat competitive. Fans instead will have to wonder "what if" the team had started Tim Tebow since the beginning of the season. The Broncos would really be pushing for that perfect 0-16 at this point had that happened (imagining that Tebow would have lost the confidence needed to propel the team's rally at Miami two weeks ago). Up next: at Oakland



The Cardinals are hanging around the outside, but this team really has a chance to impress the voters this week with a classic battle with St. Louis. The Cardinals put a scare into some fans by jumping out to a huge lead at Baltimore, but anybody who has spent time watching the recent, post-Warner version of the team knew a huge lead would be gone by the third quarter, and it nearly was. Up next: vs. St. Louis




The Colts had a potential "rebound" game against the Titans this week. With a 62-7 humiliation just six days previous, this was the kind of game where a team with pride would show up and show it is not as bad as it looked the previous week. Thankfully for fans in Indianapolis, the Colts are not that kind of team. Instead, the Colts showed the kind of steely focus in rolling over in Tennessee that will keep them in the race for all 17 weeks. Up next: vs. Atlanta




Nothing will be as impressive as blowing a 15-point lead to Tim Tebow in the final two minutes, but making Eli Manning look proficient is a solid second. But the Dolphins are second to none when it comes to futility. Next week, though, is a "trap" game for the Dolphins, because the Chiefs have the ability to lose to anybody on any given Sunday. Up next: at Kansas City

Agree or disagree, contact Rank on both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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