Cowboys Could Add NFC Rival’s $63 Million Star: Analyst

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could consider adding Vikings RB Dalvin Cook.

The Dallas Cowboys could be the ideal landing spot for an NFC rival’s star playmaker.

As proposed by CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo, the Cowboys are one of several teams that make sense as a landing spot for Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. DeArdo argues that while the Cowboys already have a number of running backs on its depth chart, team owner Jerry Jones loves to make “splashy” moves.

“Now that we’ve covered reality, let’s take a visit to Jerry World,” writes DeArdo. “Everyone knows that Jerry Jones loves to make splashy moves, and acquiring Cook would certainly be one. Headlines aside, the move does make sense from a personnel standpoint. The Cowboys would definitely benefit from having a player of Cook’s caliber to play alongside Pollard. Cook would also offer insurance in the event that Pollard leaves after the 2023 season.”

Why the Cowboys Could Consider Dalvin Cook

The Cowboys currently feature Tony Pollard as its starting running back and veteran Ronald Jones, second-year back Malik Davis and rookie Deuce Vaughn as the backups. While that’s more than enough running backs, the problem is there doesn’t appear to be a viable complement to Pollard as the Cowboys seek to replace Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones carried the ball just 17 times in six games last season, Davis served as the third-string back for the Cowboys last year and Vaughn is just 5-foot-5, 179 pounds.

The 27-year-old Cook is one of the most dynamic running backs in the league, coming off of four straight Pro Bowl appearances. However, the Vikings appear ready to move on from Cook due to the star’s unwillingness to adjust his contract. Cook has a $10.4 million base salary and $14.1 million cap hit for the upcoming season, the fourth-highest paid back in the league.

As DeArdo notes, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports the Vikings are ready to move on from Cook.

“At about the same time the 2023 NFL regular season schedules were released, it was reported that all signs are pointing to the Minnesota Vikings parting ways with four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini.”

How the Cowboys Could Acquire Dalvin Cook

Cook has the third-most rushing yards (5,024) and the second-most rushing touchdowns (43) in the NFL since the 2019 season. There’s no question he’s one of the top star running backs in the league. The question is, would the Cowboys really be willing to acquire Cook at his current rate while also paying Pollard $10 million a year?

While the idea of the Cowboys trading for Cook is likely off of the table, the possibility of signing him as a free agent is there. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler previously reported before the draft, the Vikings were considering releasing Cook.

“I’m told all options are on the table here and that he could be released closer to the draft if things don’t work out,” Fowler said prior to the draft on SportsCenter. “They had talked to at least one team about a trade in the past closer to free agency, so he is certainly a name to watch.”

Cook and Pollard would obviously form the top running back duo in the league. But if the Vikings choose to trade — rather than release — Cook, it’s safe to say Dallas is out of the running for the four-time Pro Bowl star.

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