How Dalvin Cook stacks up with past MVP running backs through 10 games

Can Cook take home the hardware?
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Dalvin Cook

It's no secret that Dalvin Cook has been the heartbeat in the Vikings offense this season. 

After dealing with injuries in his first two seasons, Cook has not only remained healthy, but people are starting to see the game-changing player he can be. Through 10 games this season, Cook hasn't been just a force on the ground, he's been a dual threat in the passing game too. 

Obviously Cook has been the Vikings MVP, but how does his season through 10 games stack up against past running backs who took home the Most Valuable Player award?

Dalvin Cook 2019

  • 203 attempts 
  • 991 rushing yards 
  • 4.9 yards per carry 
  • 10 rushing downs 
  • 40 receptions 
  • 424 receiving yards

Cook is already at 1,400 all-purpose yards and is on track to have 2,000 yards by season's end. The last running back to win MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012, who rushed for 2,000 yards. However, he wasn't as dynamic in the passing game.

Adrian Peterson 2012 through 10 games

  • 195 Attempts 
  • 1,128 yards 
  • 5.7 yard per carry 
  • 7 rushing touchdowns 
  • 29 receptions 
  • 155 yards receiving 

When you think dynamic running backs from this millennium, one of the first names that comes to mind is LaDainian Tomlinson – and specifically his 2006 season that earned him an MVP award. 

L.T. had even more all-purpose yards than Cook; on a Chargers team that finished 14-2 in the regular season.

LaDainian Tomlinson 2006 through 10 games

  • 210 attempts 
  • 1,037 yards 
  • 4.9 yards per carry 
  • 19 touchdowns 
  • 47 receptions 
  • 451 receiving yards

It's actually remarkable to think that just 14 years ago, the league had back-to-back running backs win MVP. Although he wasn't the dual threat like L.T., Shaun Alexander was a monster. 

Alexander led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl where they lost, but he deservedly won the MVP award. 

Shaun Alexander 2005 through 10 games

  • 232 attempts 
  • 1,229 yards 
  • 5.3 yards per carry 
  • 19 touchdowns 
  • 9 receptions 
  • 48 receiving yards

There were many contributors to the "Greatest Show on Turf," but the Rams offense ran through Marshall Faulk in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

The NFL Hall of Famer averaged 83 receptions during his prime from 1998-2002, which was something unheard of in that era.

Marshall Faulk 2000 through 10 games

  • 159 attempts 
  • 832 rushing yards 
  • 5.2 yards per attempt 
  • 9 rushing touchdowns 
  • 59 receptions 
  • 659 receiving yards

Winning MVP as a running back is obviously tough to do but there were some other great tailbacks who put up some big seasons, like DeMarco Murray and Priest Holmes.

DeMarco Murray 2014 through 10 games

  • 243 attempts 
  • 1,233 yards 
  • 5 yards per carry 
  • 7 rushing touchdowns 
  • 36 receptions 
  • 281 receiving yards

Priest Holmes 2002 through 10 games

  • 232 attempts 
  • 1,012 yards 
  • 4.3 yards per carry 
  • 15 touchdowns 
  • 56 receptions 
  • 468 receiving yards

Cook isn't the only tailback having a big year in 2019, as Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey has been more lethal than Cook. .

Christian McCaffrey 2019 through 10 games

  • 185 attempts 
  • 989 yards 
  • 5.3 yards per carry 
  • 11 touchdowns 
  • 48 receptions 
  • 396 receiving yards

There's no doubt Cook is in consideration for the league MVP, but quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, DeShaun Watson and even Aaron Rodgers will likely dominate the discussion.

The bigger question is, will the Vikings end up giving Cook a big contract after this season? 

Most teams tend to cut bait on running backs after their rookie contracts, but if Cook remains healthy and this versatile, it's going to be tough to part ways with him. Cook is signed through 2020, but it would be sort of crazy for Cook to even take the field without some sort of guarantees beyond next season. 

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