Dalvin Cook already on track to be better than Adrian Peterson

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook and Adrian Peterson
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook and Adrian Peterson /

It’s gone a bit under the radar, but Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is on a current pace to finish with better career numbers than Adrian Peterson.

From the moment he first stepped on the field for the Minnesota Vikings, there was something noticeably special about Dalvin Cook.

Cook walked into the locker room of U.S. Bank Stadium after the first matchup of the 2017 season with the most rushing yards by a rookie in their debut game with the Vikings.

Unfortunately, his first year with Minnesota was cut short in Week 4 when he went down with a season-ending knee injury. Since then, however, Cook has more than made up for the time he lost out on the field in 2017.

Dalvin Cook on track to surpass Adrian Peterson as the greatest Minnesota Vikings running back ever

When Cook first arrived in the Twin Cities, he already had the pressure of trying to fill the gigantic shoes of former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

As the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and rushing yards per game, Peterson is regarded by most as the greatest running back to ever suit up in a Minnesota uniform.

However, Cook is on a current pace in his career that could result in him taking over the throne from Peterson whenever his time with the Vikings comes to a close.

Just take a look at Cook’s numbers from his last two seasons, his third and fourth years in the NFL, compared to what Peterson put up during his third and fourth seasons in the league.

Minnesota Vikings
(Courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com) /

Obviously, in order for Cook to end his career as the greatest Minnesota running back of all time, he will have to continue to perform at a high level for more than a handful of seasons like Peterson was able to.

During the five years after 2010 (2011 to 2015), Peterson saw his rushing average jump to 99.9 yards per game. Was this average heavily impacted by his amazing 2012 performance when he rushed for 131.1 yards per matchup? Yes, of course, but Peterson is also one of only five running backs in NFL history to have seven or more seasons with a per-game rushing average of at least 86 yards.

So, yes, Cook is on a current pace to break some of the Vikings’ all-time rushing records. But there is still much work to be done before he is viewed by Minnesota fans as the best running back to ever suit up in purple and gold.

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Is Cook capable of accomplishing this monumental task? Absolutely, but his performance during the last two years is just another reminder of how impressively consistent Peterson was out on the field during the majority of his time with the Vikings.