Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was a key part of the team’s success during the 2019 season and he is now talked about as one of the better running backs in the league. He has explosive speed and elite vision that allows him to find the holes and burst through them away from defenders.
So how high does Dalvin Cook rank? Let’s break it down.
Evaluating Cook’s 2019 stats
To breakdown just where Dalvin Cook should rank, let’s first look at his stats and where his statistical output ranked among other running backs. On the season, Cook finished with 1,135 yards (10th). It’s worth noting, he only played 14 games and had the second-most rushing yards for a player who played 14 or fewer games.
Cook averaged 81.1 yards per game (seventh) and finished with 13 rushing touchdowns (fourth). Meanwhile, his long run of 75 yards was good enough to be the seventh longest in the league.
He also was a threat catching the ball, finishing the season with 53 receptions for 519 yards.
Impact on the Vikings
Dalvin Cook was the greatest X-Factor on the team, and they likely didn’t know what they had until he wasn’t on the field. In Week 16 against the Packers, Cook missed the game because of injury, and the offense couldn’t get anything going. Cousins finished the game throwing for only 122 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Defenses didn’t have to respect the running game and it led to them being able to lock down receivers, and have more success rushing the passer.
The offense worked best when Cook was running well, which would open up the passing game for Cousins. The passing game needs Cook to have success which has to be considered when deciding where he should rank.
Where does Cook rank?
Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, and Ezekiel Elliott look like the three best running backs in the league, and there really isn’t much argument about other backs joining in those ranks.
After the top three, it’s a lot of really good running backs that are all close talent and stats wise. Cook belongs in the same conversation as Leonard Fournette, Josh Jacobs, Nick Chubb, Chris Carson, and Joe Mixon.
Where you rank him in that group is all personal opinion, but a strong argument can be made that all of those guys should be tied as the fourth-best running back.
Dalvin Cook at best is ranked fourth, and at worst-ranked ninth in the NFL for running backs.