Consistent positive yardage
Adrian Peterson’s calling-card was the ability to be bottled up here and there at the line of scrimmage–and then erupt for a 50-yard touchdown. Every single proponent of him and his team will champion this capability.
This feast-or-famine style is not one that is commonly shared with Dalvin Cook. In fact, it does not frequently become an occurrence for slasher-style runners in general.
Cook is no different. Although he does not hit the home runs as frequently as Peterson did (nobody really ever has), he also does not get dropped for zero yards or losses all that much.
For example, of Peterson’s 2,418 rushing attempts with the Vikings, 310 attempts resulted in negative yardage (13 percent). Cook has 457 rushing attempts in his career and he has been bottled up for negative yards 43 times (nine percent).
The usual lip-service here is that a four percent variance may seem negligible at first glance. But over the course of a season or a career, that translates to hundreds of carries of lost yardage.
One other aspect in support of Cook’s consistently-positive yardage style is flushed out in regard to first downs. In Peterson’s career, 22 percent of his touches have resulted in first downs. Of all Cook’s touches thus far thru three years, 25 percent have moved the sticks.