Vikings’ Dalvin Cook Sounds Off on Disrespect Ahead of Cowboys Matchup

Dalvin Cook, Vikings

Getty Running back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball for a touchdown during a game against the Buffalo Bills in November 2022.

The Minnesota Vikings are among the NFL’s elite franchises this season, yet widespread disbelief in their talent and the discrediting of their substantial achievements remain pervasive throughout the league.

Some of the talk around Minnesota turned following a thrilling overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. However, the doubters can still point to a fumbled snap in the end zone by Bills quarterback Josh Allen with just seconds left to play as the unlikely catalyst that ultimately lifted the Vikings over the top of an AFC Super Bowl favorite.

Media members asked three-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook about the doubt and disrespect swirling around the team through most of their 8-1 campaign this year, as well as the tide turning on some of that talk this week.

“Well, we don’t listen to that anyway,” Cook said. “We just look for preparation each and every week to go out and perform well, and blocking outside noise out. They gonna say what they say anyway, if it’s good or bad. So regardless of whatever they saying, we still gotta go out and perform each and every week and I think that’s our mindset — just go 1-0 each and every week, and I think we’ll be just fine.”

We know the type of ball we can play once we lock in and hone into the details and just be us as the Minnesota Vikings, so we know that,” Cook continued. “It just shows a resilient group that’s willing to go play in any environment and good a win no matter how it comes, so I think that’s what came out of that Buffalo game.”

Vikings Have Chance to Separate in NFC Over Coming Weeks

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

GettyQB Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after defeating the Washington Commanders 20-17 at FedExField on November 6, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Regardless of the talk, the Vikings have a few wins upon which to hang their collective hat this season.

The team shut down two-time reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to open the season, holding their division rival and recent tormentors to a mere seven points in that contest. Minnesota also shut down another Super Bowl favorite in the Miami Dolphins on the road in Week 6 before orchestrating back-to-back fourth-quarter comebacks against the Washington Commanders and the Bills in the previous two weeks.

The Commanders bested the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, handing the only team to beat the Vikings its first loss of the season and creating a tie atop the NFC standings. Minnesota now has a legitimate chance to seize control of the conference and the No. 1 seed if they can handle the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

The Vikings will follow that game with matchups against two AFC contenders, the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving Day and the New York Jets 10 days later as the Vikings open up a three-game homestand. Minnesota’s final five outings of the year include four contests against franchises that currently own losing records.

Injuries Biggest Obstacle to Vikings’ Dominance in NFC

Justin Jefferson, Vikings

GettyWR Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings catches a touchdown over DB Dane Jackson of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of a game at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The NFL is a fickle league ripe with parity, meaning a few bad bounces can disrupt any team’s season. However, the Vikings have proven themselves solidly constructed across most units of the roster to the point that their biggest obstacle in a relatively weak NFC this year could be injuries.

Minnesota has avoided catastrophic injuries to this point, though the team did release some disconcerting news on Wednesday. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was added to the official report with a toe injury, but was still a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.

Pass rusher Za’Darius Smith was also limited Wednesday with a knee contusion, while left tackle Christian Darrisaw sat out with a concussion. Dalvin Tomlinson remained sidelined with a calf issue that has kept him out for the Vikings’ previous two games, while starting cornerback Cameron Dantzler remains on the IR for at least the next three weeks due to an ankle injury.

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