Dalvin Cook Draws Free Agency Connection to His Former Vikings Head Coach

The Vikings Could Be Shaking Things Up in Their RB Room
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs on the field during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

12 months ago, many were wondering if Dalvin Cook would return to the Minnesota Vikings for a seventh season.

Ultimately, the Vikings decided to release him in June, and he hit free agency for about a couple of months before deciding to sign with the New York Jets. Now, Cook is on the open market again, and the former Vikings running back has drawn a connection to one of his former head coaches.

Dalvin Cook Draws Free Agency Connection to Mike Zimmer

Dalvin Cook Trade
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on during training camp at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Gehklen, a Cowboys beat writer for The Dallas Morning News, wrote this week, “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.”

Cook was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Vikings, Zimmer’s fourth draft as the head coach. He played five seasons under Zimmer before the team decided to fire both the head coach and general manager Rick Spielman following the 2021 season.

The running back would then go through the 2022 season with Minnesota, and it actually was the first season in which Cook played every game. He totaled 264 carries for 1173 yards (his fourth straight season of 1000+ rushing yards) and eight touchdowns.

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) the hands the ball off to running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

However, Cook struggled to find a consistent role with the Jets during the 2023 season. He rarely saw time in New York’s backfield with second-year RB Breece Hall taking on most of the carries in the offense. Cook totaled just 67 carries for 214 yards before being released after Week 17.

After being released, Cook then signed with the Baltimore Ravens for their playoff run and totaled eight carries for 23 yards during his only appearance.

If he were to join the Cowboys this offseason, Cook would provide some much-needed veteran depth in their backfield after Dallas lost Tony Pollard to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. As of now, the Cowboys employ Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis, and Snoop Conner at the running back position.

Sep 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This spring, Zimmer was hired as the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys after Dan Quinn left to take on the head coaching job for the Washington Commanders.

Not only would Cook reunite with Zimmer if he signed with the Cowboys, but he would also join former Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks on the roster, who signed with Dallas earlier this spring.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.