Dalvin Cook Also Considering a Vikings Foe

Friendly to Dalvin
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

For weeks, if not months, teams like the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots have served as frontrunners to sign former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook in free agency.

Dalvin Cook Also Considering a Vikings Foe

The Vikings released Cook on June 9th, and the four-time Pro Bowler has actually been quite vocal about the plans for his career’s second chapter. He’s hopped on NFL media to discuss his next steps, tweeted and retweeted New York Jets-related items, and even visited the Jets facilities last weekend.

Meanwhile, Cook also mentioned a dark-horse suitor for his services last weekend — the Dallas Cowboys.

Dalvin Cook Also
Nov 13, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Dallas will embark on life without Ezekiel Elliott in 2023, as, like Cook, the Cowboys cut the former RB1 this offseason. Tony Pollard is the next man up, but after Pollard, the depth chart at RB is a bit skimpy.

Cook was asked on NFL Live about his consideration of the Cowboys as a free-agent landing spot. He replied, “Yeah, Dallas, they’ve been right there. Just need to turn that page the last few years. And like you said, T.P. [Tony Pollard] is a great running back. Just partnering up with a great running back, with a great running mate, it’d be good, man. So hey, I don’t know.”

Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs with the ball for a touchdown in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook departed the Vikings as the franchise’s third-leading rusher in franchise history (5,993 yards) behind Adrian Peterson (11,747) and Robert Smith (6,818). His 47 rushing touchdowns rank fourth behind Peterson (97), Chuck Foreman (52), and Bill Brown (52). And his rushing yards per game (82.1) are second, only trailing Peterson (95.5).

Dallas also employs running backs Malik Davis and Ronald Jones, plus rookie Deuce Vaughn (yes, the guy from the heart-tugging draft video). Adding Cook would merely hedge the bet against Pollard’s injury recovery and probably split the 2023 carryload between Pollard and Cook equitably.

Anthony Barr's Free Agency + the Cowboys Is a Head-Scratcher
Oct 31, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) and outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) and cornerback Bashaud Breeland (21) during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Cowboys rank fourth leaguewide in available cap space as of July 31st with about $19.7 million. They certainly have the funds to welcome Cook. Initially during his free agency, Cook reportedly expected to fetch close to $10 million per season via his next contract. But with the contractual statuses of Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and even Pollard going haywire last month, that number is likely closer to $5 million or $6 million.

In June, Dan Orlovsky, a pundit for ESPN and former NFL quarterback, said on the network’s First Take program, “Dallas, don’t tell me you’re legit about wanting to do everything that you can do to go win a Super Bowl if you don’t sign Dalvin Cook.”

There Is a Dalvin Cook Plot Twist
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

He added, “You’re starting tailback Tony Pollard broke his leg like five months ago. You want to run the football more with the guy that just broke his leg five months ago?”

While the Jets and Patriots are the Vegas favorites to land Cook, plus a side dish of Cook’s hometown Dolphins, the Cowboys apparently cannot be ruled out of the sweepstakes.

Cook will turn 28 next week.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.