Jets’ Dalvin Cook Gets Called out, Team Urged to Bench Him

Dalvin Cook, Jets

Getty New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook making a play during an NFL game.

New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook has struggled out of the gate through the first three weeks of the season.

Connor Hughes of SNY highlighted Cook as a player the Jets “absolutely need more production from if they want to turn their season around.”

“It’s Dalvin Cook. When the Jets signed him, I didn’t think they were going to get vintage Dalvin Cook but he has just looked slow, he looks like he lacks explosiveness, there’s no burst, he doesn’t look like a player who can really do anything for this offense,” Hughes said on “Jets Class.”

“2.3 yards per carry average. I know some of that has to do with how many loaded boxes the Jets are seeing but still they absolutely need more from Dalvin Cook.”

Jets analyst Joe Caporoso of “Badlands” said on X previously Twitter that he’d “start playing Izzy [Israel Abanikanda] as RB2 ASAP.”

That maneuver would send Cook to the bench.

Cook-Jets Plan Has Failed so Far

The Jets signed the 28-year-old to a one-year deal for $7 million with $5.8 million of that in total guarantees, per Spotrac.

The move was viewed as a luxury addition considering the team already had talented youngster Breece Hall on the roster. However, he’s been recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in October of the 2022 season.

The presence of Cook in theory would allow the Jets to slow play Hall’s comeback so he could eventually return at full strength.

Through three games, the former Florida State product has toted the rock 25 times for only 58 rushing yards. He has also caught seven receptions for 42 receiving yards.

Cook is currently on pace to finish with 328 rushing yards which would be a career worst season. Speaking of careers, heading into 2023, Dalvin had rushed for at least 1,100 rushing yards in four straight seasons which resulted in four consecutive Pro Bowl nominations.

Although he isn’t the only Jets running back that has been struggling so far this year.

Gang Green currently boasts the No. 22 rushing offense in the league. That is bad, but it is actually worse than that. Those numbers are skewed from the first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. In that particular contest, the Jets rushed for 172 yards on the ground.

But even those numbers are skewed. On Hall’s first rushing attempt he gained 26 yards. On Hall’s second rushing attempt he gained 83 yards. In other words, Hall accounted for 109 of the team’s 172 total rushing yards on his first two carries.

The Jets haven’t found that same success on the ground over the last two games. Gang Green only rushed for 64 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. In Week 3 against the New England Patriots, it was even worse, rushing for only 38 yards on the ground.

Too Early for Panicking or Over Reactionary Benching of Jets Players

These numbers are absolutely disgusting. No wonder the Jets are 1-2 on the season and have struggled offensively.

However, we are only 3 weeks into a 17-game season. This is no time to panic or bench players.

Actually, I can think of seven million reasons why I wouldn’t bench Cook if you catch my drift. You have no choice; you have to play through whatever is going on.

The Jets are operating an offense with the worst quarterback in the NFL from a statistical and eye test standpoint. We see that, fans see that, the media sees that, and most importantly the opposing teams see that.

So, they’re loading the box to stop the Jets running game and they’re daring Zach Wilson to beat them. So far, he is batting .333 in that category only having won the season opening contest against the Bills.

Better times are ahead for the Jets running game. Hall will continue to get stronger the further he gets away from his surgery and quite frankly things can’t get worse.

Head coach Robert Saleh implied to Jets senior reporter Eric Allen this week that Hall is no longer on a pitch count coming off of his injury. A fully recovered Hall is a defense’s worst nightmare.

That will also open up things for the other running backs and the offense as a whole moving forward. The results aren’t great so far, but patience is a virtue.

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