Report: Dalvin to Dallas? Cowboys Aren’t Interested (At Least So Far)

Jan 16, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons (11) meets with owner Jerry Jones (center) and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook has been subject to no shortage of trade rumors. Recently, those rumors took an unexpected turn: a Dalvin to Dallas theory.

For a long time, Ezekiel Elliott was in charge of the Cowboys backfield. Given his advancing age and declining production, the Cowboys decided to move on. Mike McCarthy’s team placed the tag on Tony Pollard, a supremely-talented RB who is elusive and explosive.

However, there may be some conversations between Dallas and Minnesota about what a trade could look like involving #4.

Is Dalvin to Dallas a Thing?

Cowboys Country from within the Sports Illustrated network provides the word. Mike Fisher indicates that it’s his side that hasn’t been super interested:

But can report this: While there would be obvious interest in a star runner who seems still in his prime at a grandly reduced rate, a league source tells us that Dallas’ response to any and all trade concepts from the Vikings would be “no deal.”

Afterwards, Fisher discusses the presence of Pollard and how there aren’t any proven players capable of challenging for snaps. Paying Pollard major money and then a sizable amount to Cook is likely a nonstarter for Dallas. In Fisher’s mind, just in terms of talent, adding Cook “would be a terrific way to solve” the lack of support behind the RB1.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) rushes with the football as Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage (26) defends during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of speculation is out there. Not too long ago, Adam Schefter suggested Cook may soon be a goner in Minnesota (as Vikings Territory relays). Jeremy Fowler has suggested a divorce is possible and Darren Wolfson has also expressed his skepticism about Cook’s ongoing employment in Minnesota. Albert Breer noted that Minnesota is looking for trade partners.

More importantly, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah sounds pretty lukewarm about the idea of retaining him. According to Adofo-Mensah, Cook could “in theory” be a “complementary” player alongside Alexander Mattison.

Dalvin Cook
Jun 9, 2021; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) participates in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Za’Darius Smith trade is likely a template for what we can expect for Dalvin Cook. Instead of a massive draft pick haul, Adofo-Mensah got a bit of an improvement by trading away a 6th & 7th for two picks in the 5th. Moreover, the GM kept a bit of extra money behind to make things easier for Cleveland, the acquiring team.

In the end, the GM who loves value got more cap room and better draft picks. Not exactly an A+, but a better outcome than just cutting Smith. We should be looking for something similar with Cook, especially since waiting until after June 1 for a trade would give Minnesota $11 million in cap space (if they don’t keep any behind to help facilitate a deal).

The Cowboys are working with a touch above $10.5 million in cap space. In 2024, Dallas has more than $24 million, allowing for some help with the present budget.

A complicating factor is that the Cowboys reside in the NFC. With Smith, it made sense to ship him off to the AFC. Unless there is a Super Bowl matchup, the Vikings won’t need to deal with the talented pass rusher. While there is no Cowboys matchup in their 2023 schedule, the Vikings are gunning for the playoffs. Both sides have a great shot of getting there; does the team have any concern about potentially seeing Cook in the playoffs?

A Win-Loss Prediction for the 2022 Vikings
Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings chose Dalvin Cook, believing he’d be a worthy successor to Adrian Peterson (an all-time great at the RB spot). Throughout Cook’s career, injury is the only thing that has proven capable of consistently slowing him down (though Akiem Hicks has done some damage).

Cook is a six-year NFL veteran who has 5993 rushing yards in his career to go alongside a 4.7 yards-per-carry average. He has 47 rushing touchdowns and another 5 through the air. Whether it’s with Minnesota or a different team, Cook will prompt defenses to think twice about committing too many resources toward nullifying the pass.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.