Cook missed this year’s season finale due to the death of his father and has been silent on social media throughout the grieving process.
The 25-year-old broke his silence on Monday following the release of the league’s all-pro list that did not include Cook, despite being second in rushing yards (1,557) yards from scrimmage (1,918) and third in touchdowns this season (17).
Cook issued a strong message to the league after being snubbed this season.
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Cook: ‘Blame the NFL for What’s Bout to Happen’
In a message Cook posted on his Instagram story, Cook gave forewarning of the vendetta he’ll carry in 2021 — a season he’ll likely dedicate to his father’s memory.
“Wasn’t gone [sic] speak on it but just know blame the NFL or whoever printed that all pro list for what’s bout to happen this year! #LAA #LongLivePops.”
— Heavy On Vikings (@HeavyOnVikings) January 11, 2021
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was the sole running back to earn first-team All-Pro honors, garnering 47 of the 50 votes cast by the Associated Press’ poll writers. Henry led the league in rushing yards for a second consecutive year and became the eighth player in league history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards, totaling 2,027 this season.
In terms of production, Cook should have been next in line given his 1,918 yards from scrimmage in 14 games played, but instead, the other three votes cast went to Saints running back Alvin Kamara.
Kamara’s only advantage over Cook was his league-leading 21 total touchdowns — six of which he scored against Minnesota to tie a 91-year-old record.
Had the Vikings not allowed Kamara to run roughshod on Christmas Day, Cook may have been an all-pro candidate.
Cook isn’t dwelling on that game as he’s already absolved that blame and channeled it toward his goals next season.
Derrick Henry Reaches Out to Dalvin Cook
Henry and Cook have kept in close contact over the past few years as two of the league’s most dominant running backs.
Through 10 games this season, 10 rushing yards is all that separated Cook and Henry in the league rushing title race which was one of the most contentious in nearly a decade. Henry ran away with it late in the season, however, it was not decided yet with Cook trailing by 220 yards entering Week 17.
The chase was called on Wednesday that week as news broke that Cook flew home to Miami to be with his family following the death of his father. Henry was asked about winning the rushing title for a second consecutive year given Cook’s circumstances and pivoted to offering his condolences.
“Me and Dalvin talk a lot throughout the season — always encouraging each other,” Henry said. “I told him I’m praying for his family and sending my condolences. It’s bigger than football. It’s his dad. Very sad and feel for him and his family. Prayers for his family.”
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.