Dalvin Cook Linked to Super Bowl Contender

Viking in Playoffs
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

At this time last year, wondering if Dalvin Cook would return to the Minnesota Vikings was a hot topic on the offseason agenda.

Dalvin Cook Linked to Super Bowl Contender

The Vikings eventually released Cook, and he later latched onto the New York Jets roster, an experiment that fizzled by midseason. Cook finished 2023 with the Baltimore Ravens, a franchise that flamed out at home against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

dalvin cook
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward to the 2024 offseason, and Cook is once again a free agent needing fresh employment. According to the rumor mill, the Dallas Cowboys might be calling his name.

“Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook are two veteran options who stand to draw strong club consideration as free agency progresses. Elliott spent seven seasons in Dallas from 2016-22. Cook would reunite with Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, his head coach on the Minnesota Vikings from 2017-21,” Dallas NewsMichael Gehklen wrote this week.

There Is a Dalvin Cook Plot Twist
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Cowboys onboarded former Vikings skipper Mike Zimmer this offseason as defensive coordinator and linebacker Eric Kendricks, so Jerry Jones may be firing up a grand ‘ol party of ex-Vikings deep in the heart of Texas.

These are the Cowboys’ tailbacks as of March 26th:

  • Rico Dowdle
  • Deuce Vaughn
  • Malik Davis
  • Snoop Conner
AFC East Arms Race
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Tony Pollard joined the Tennessee Titans in free agency, making Dallas’ RB depth quite skimpy — one of the weakest in the NFL, in fact. Whether Cook, Elliott, or a rookie from the NFL draft in 29 days, help is needed.

Cook originally joined the Jets last August after departing the Vikings, back when New York was a true-blue Super Bowl contender. But soon after the regular season kicked off, Cook wasn’t quite the same playmaker from 2020 or 2021, and New York quickly granted a larger carry load to Breece Hall, not Cook. Quarterback Aaron Rogers was injured four plays into the regular season with a torn Achilles, the same injury that beset former Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins in October.

The veteran tailback lasted on the free-agent wire for a few minutes following the Jets divorce, becoming a Raven for Baltimore’s abbreviated playoff push. Cook tabulated 23 rushing yards on 8 carries in a Divisional Round win over the Houston Texans.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook left 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).

The Vikings released Cook last June because he was in line for a $14 million cap hit in 2023 — too much for a running back and for one that proved in New York that his Pro Bowl days were over.

Dallas has +1300 odds to win the Super Bowl next season, the fifth-best moneyline in the NFL.

Cook will turn 29 in August.

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.