A theme that develops in this comparison of Dalvin Cook and Adrian Peterson is that they are distinctly different style of running back.
Peterson made his (immense amount of) money by outrunning and barreling over defenders and he did it in both a violent and beautiful manner.
Cook slashes, he can also barrel other men over, and then he can turn on afterburners. He is certainly not as downhill of a runner as Peterson was in Minnesota.
Due to this slasher style, Cook is more versatile, especially on third down, because he can catch the football out of the backfield.
A common saying with Peterson is that when he is in the game “everyone knows where the ball is going”. Normally, this one-dimensional style did not matter when he was with the Vikings as he simply could not be stopped even though the defense knew he was getting the football.
Cook offers a potpourri of services including pass-catching and blocking. He is closer to LaDanian Tomlinson’s style of football than he is, say, someone like Marshawn Lynch.
Cook kills you with a slashing machete. Peterson kills you with blunt-force trauma.
The numbers uphold the case for Cook’s versatility. Through his first 29 games in the NFL, he has caught 104 passes. In Peterson’s first 29 matchups, he had just 40 receptions.