The overhaul in Minneapolis continues, with ESPN insider Adam Schefter reporting that the Minnesota Vikings informed star running back Dalvin Cook of his release. Outside of incumbent second-year back Dameon Pierce and free agent addition Devin Singletary, the Houston Texans running back room needs additional depth options and Cook would represent the perfect addition.
Cook brings an established track record and proven success at the NFL level. According to Pro Football Reference, the 2017 second-round pick had a memorable six-year run with the Vikings, recording 5,993 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns. While not known as a receiving back, Cook was no slouch in that department, recording 30 or more receptions in every season since becoming a full-time starter in 2018.
While durability concerns are always prevalent with the 27-year-old, Cook did appear in all of the Vikings' regular season games for the first time in his career. Availability is an NFL running back’s greatest gift and the result for Cook was his fourth straight Pro Bowl selection and another 1,000-yard rushing season to his name, a regular occurrence since his breakout 2019 campaign.
Beyond the stats, the Houston Texans are operating a new offensive scheme under the guise of first-year offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, formerly a passing-game coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. Those 49ers' offenses were diverse, featuring a wide array of personnel and a deep running back rotation. In a March interview with Texans insider Deepi Sidhu, head coach DeMeco Ryans made clear that the running backs are designed to play an integral role in 2023.
"“My vision for the offense is similar to our defensive, our vision, it’s an attacking aggressive offense. So it’s the offensive line running off attacking. It’s the running backs attacking the line of scrimmage. It’s an aggressive style. We want to be balanced, but we want to make sure we can run the ball very well. We want to hang our hat on, running the ball, being able to dictate up front, but it’s also in the passing game.” "- Head Coach DeMeco Ryans
With an aggressive offensive style and focus on the run game, the Houston Texans are going to need more than two running backs to keep a rotation of fresh legs. Dalvin Cook represents the perfect remedy.