NFL Power Rankings: Predicting every team's worst-case scenario in 2024

What's the worst-case scenario for every NFL team in 2024?
NFL Power Rankings
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8. Dallas Cowboys: 8 or 9 wins, miss playoffs/lose in Wild Card round

Don’t sleep on the idea that the Dallas Cowboys could lose enough games this year to miss the playoffs completely. There’s a lot going on in Dallas, but you have to kind of expect that this offense led by Dak Prescott is going to be too good to miss the playoffs. And Mike Zimmer should have the defense ready to go, but let’s look at the facts here.

The Cowboys are replacing starting left tackle Tyron Smith, who was outstanding last year. They are changing defensive schemes and there’s a bit of a level of unpredictability at cornerback with Trevon Diggs coming back from injury. The Cowboys had to be frugal this offseason. Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb have lingering contract issues as of right now.

You can see where things might go wrong for this team. The worst-case scenario is once again getting knocked out of the playoffs early or even missing out on the postseason entirely.

7. Houston Texans: 8 or 9 wins, miss the playoffs

Given how high the expectations are for the Houston Texans this year, it would be stunning if this team didn’t make the playoffs…


The Texans have the reigning NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year in CJ Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. They loaded up the roster on both sides of the ball this offseason, adding the likes of Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon to the offense while pairing up Anderson with Danielle Hunter off the edge in the pass rush department.

The pieces are all in place, so the only way the Texans don’t win 10 games is if CJ Stroud regresses or the team simply underachieves and can’t finish games. The Texans have substantially raised their floor in recent years but with a young quarterback, progression is not always going to be linear so you just never know. I feel like nine wins is a baseline for this team, but narrowly missing the playoffs seems to be their floor right now.