The Vikings Are Going to Ruin Dalvin Cook

Isaiah De Los Santos
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is being asked to carry too much of the team's offense.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is being asked to carry too much of the team's offense. / Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings are in the thick of the NFL Playoff race, but they suffered an unfortunate loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Running back Dalvin Cook featured heavily in the Vikings' offense on Sunday, as he has all season, although Minnesota seems keen to push Cook's workhorse status to the limit.

Cook's presence in the team's total offensive snaps against Dallas is staggering when compared to his fellow backfield partners.

Cook took a beating on Sunday. This was highlighted in the second quarter when the running back was slow to get up after taking a hit that caused him to fumble. The RB required medical attention, but he returned following halftime.

Cook totaled 160 yards (115 on the ground and 45 receiving) against the Cowboys, taking on a large share of carrying the Vikings' offense (as always). It's concerning that Minnesota has disregarded proper rest for their star running back. Over the last four games, he's playing, on average, in 79% of the team's total offensive snaps. He's already up to 201 carries in nine games this season, after notching 250 (eighth most in the NFL) across 14 games in 2019.

It's no surprise that Cook is rising to the occasion with his team desperate for any offensive production in an up-and-down season. But with Sunday's loss, Minnesota will have little wiggle room as they vie for a playoff spot. That likely means even more work for Cook, who is second in rushing attempts (201) despite playing one fewer game than the rest of the backs in the top 7.

Running backs are known to have a short shelf life. Few can lead an offense for more than a couple of years. The Vikings risk cutting Cook's prime short with the ridiculous load they're asking him to carry.

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