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The Veteran Running Back Dallas Should Sign

The Veteran Running Back Dallas Should Sign: Dallas should be in the market for Dalvin Cook should Minnesota move on from the Pro-Bowl back.
Dalvin Cook Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is projected to be a free agent in June of this upcoming season, but he could find a home with the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team released Ezekiel Elliott and are in the market for veteran leadership. Tony Pollard has completely taken over the backfield but needs a reliable ball carrier to take some of the brunt against opposing defensive lines.

Should the Dallas Cowboys Pursue Dalvin Cook?

Dalvin Cook’s 2022 Season

Cook had another good season with the Minnesota Vikings, finishing with 1,173 yards on 264 carries. He also added 295 receiving yards on 39 receptions adding two scores through the air. Cook had another solid season as the bell-cow running back for the Vikings. Despite a prolific season, Cook has started to show signs of aging. The veteran back has clearly lost a step and has relinquished some of the work to Alexander Mattison.

Cook’s decline is very apparent this season with a subpar 4.4 yards per carry. The veteran running back got plenty of opportunities with 264 carries, sixth most of all qualified running backs. His 1,173 yards were also sixth most and his eight touchdowns were tied for 12th. Unfortunately, Cook’s yards per carry landed him 27th in the league among qualified runners, spelling an inefficient back with massive volume.

The former Florida State Seminole had a frustrating season with six games under 60 rushing yards. Cook struggled against a negative game script but also put out some duds when he should have performed. One of Cook’s worst games was against the New England Patriots where he ran the ball 22 times for only 42 yards, averaging a measly 1.9 yards per carry. The Vikings won the contest 33-26 and should have featured a healthy running attack. Sporadic poor games are one reason Cook’s productivity is down and why the Vikings could be looking at moving on from the Pro Bowl running back.

How Dalvin Cook Fits in the Cowboys Offense

Cook would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys offense. Elliott was a veteran leader who brought consistency to the backfield in Dallas since 2016. The former Ohio State Buckeye was great in Dallas but has become too expensive for the Cowboys in 2023. After signing Prescott to a massive contract in 2021, Dallas has to be better at budgeting their key players. Elliott is simply too expensive and is approaching the end of his NFL shelf-life.

Cook and Elliott are known to be physical runners with tremendous downhill speed. Elliott has been one of the best backs in the NFL behind the Cowboys physical offensive line. Cook is a similar talent running downhill and catching passes. If Minnesota moves on from Cook Dallas should be able to sign him at a discount.

Cook is in a similar situation compared to Elliott. He has obviously lost a step and is nearing the end of his prime. Cook has seen a decline in yards per attempt the past two seasons with 5.0 yards per attempt in 2020, 4.7 in 2021, and 4.4 in 2022. His steady decline makes it more difficult for the Vikings to justify his hefty price tag, especially with Mattison playing so well. Minnesota is clearly marketing their new and younger skill players and will likely move on from Cook in June.

Vikings Could Move On from Cook

Cook had several games where he disappeared with less than 60 rushing yards. Many of these games were linked to game script when the Vikings fell behind early. Recent offensive struggles have Vikings fans and critics anxious for changes including creating salary-cap space and moving on from older players. The Cowboys should be one of the first teams to host Cook and would benefit greatly from his veteran leadership. If Cook joins Dallas, he and Pollard would instantly become one of the top one-two punches in the NFL.


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