Cowboys Could Add Vikings Star RB for ‘Cheap’ in NFL Draft Trade
As the Dallas Cowboys prepare the next step of their offseason with the NFL draft, a Minnesota Vikings star is being linked to a trade with Dallas.
The Cowboys’ first pick in this year’s draft comes at the No. 26 spot, but they may not have to worry about moving around based on an estimated price for Vikings RB Dalvin Cook.
NFLanalysis.net’s Kenneth Teape and SI.com’s Mike Fisher recently explored a possible trade for the four-time Pro Bowler, which comes at a seemingly cheap price: a fourth-round pick and a small sixth-round shuffle.
“Knowing there is a chance that Cook will be released, the trade offers coming in won’t be overly aggressive. Dallas could offer their fourth-round pick, No. 129 overall and fifth-round pick, No. 169 in exchange for Cook and Minnesota’s sixth-round pick, No. 211,” Teape wrote.
The idea of adding someone of Cook’s caliber for a fourth-round pick is tempting. Cooks is one of the most decorated backs in the NFL. However, there are also clear red flags and limitations that would make this move a difficult decision and potentially the wrong one as well.
Cook in His Vikings Prime?
Typically, players who are coming off their fourth-consecutive Pro Bowl season aren’t transfer block material. The issue for the Vikings hasn’t been Cook’s productivity, but rather his contract (more on that below.)
Over the past four seasons, Cook’s lowest rushing yards total was 1135 in 2019, and that was in 14 games played according to Pro Football Reference. His touchdown numbers have gone down in the past two years (14 over that span compared to 29 the previous two seasons,) but his production is still at an elite level.
What makes Cook’s situation somewhat difficult to judge is the presence of Alexander Mattison. The Vikings have a second productive back in Mattison, and he has both given some rest to Cook but also cut into his production.
Having Mattison is a key reason why Cook could be cut or traded, partially thanks to his cheap salary. Cook’s, on the other hand, is a negative and something the Cowboys could view as a dealbreaker for a trade.
Cowboys, Coin and Trade
When the Cowboys released running back Ezekiel Elliott earlier this offseason, the primary reason was that he was not worth his production. Even with Cook hitting the 1000-plus mark on rushing yards, it’s hard to say he’s worth a trade either.
According to Spotrac, Cook is due another $11 million this season, and another $12.5 million next year. That’s fairly close to Elliott’s deal, who is actually the same age as Cook. Cook is producing at a high level, but questions about his longevity have to be asked.
If the Cowboys did trade for Cook, they would be paying him and RB Tony Pollard around $22 million for 2023. No team in the NFL is spending that much money on running backs, regardless of talent.
Further, Dallas can just wait and see. The Vikings may find a trade partner for Cook, but if the Cowboys and the rest of the NFL believe he will be cut if a trade doesn’t materialize, then there is no rush.
Cook would be a game-changing addition, but the fact that he could be cut after the NFL draft means Dallas would be better served to wait and see if they can sign him on a cheaper free-agent deal.