Skip to main content
Publish date:

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

Can Cook take home the hardware?

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. 

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

Related

Dalvin Cook

Handing out midseason awards for the 2019 Vikings

There are plenty of candidates for offensive MVP.

2048px-Richard_Sherman_and_Pete_Carroll_in_embrace_Super_Bowl_XLVIII

Past Super Bowl teams who were built like this year's Vikings

Even in the pass-happy NFL, running and defending can win a title.

Vikings

Vikings win snoozer over Washington to improve to 6-2

It wasn't pretty, but that's usually how Thursday games go.

3 worst-case scenarios for the Vikings this season

What else can go wrong for the Vikings in 2019?

Kirk Cousins

Cousins' best 3-game stretch compared to Cunningham, Culpepper, Favre

Shocking, but Cousins' dominant three games is as good as it gets.