Dalvin Cook dazzles in NFL Debut

Former Florida State star running back Dalvin Cook put on a show last night during his NFL debut with the Minnesota Vikings. The No. 41 overall pick finished with 22 rushes for 127 yards while catching 3 passes for 10 yards. Minnesota would go on to defeat New Orleans 29-19 with Cook leading the way on the ground

Although he didn’t get into the endzone during week one, Cook gashed the Saints all night. His offensive line should only improve as the season goes on. Minnesota has revamped their line and is starting a completely different group than they did during the 2016 season. They certainly looked much more capable up front in game one than they did a season ago.

The all-time leading rusher at FSU certainly didn’t get off to a fast start during his first half in the NFL. Cook finished the first 30 minutes of the game with 8 carries for 22 yards. He struggled to find running room and was bottled up by a Saints defense who looked much improved during the preseason. Cook finally found some holes in the third quarter but exploded in the final frame.

Cook took his first carry of the fourth quarter for his longest rush of the night. He exploded off of the right tackle and up the hash-marks, gaining 33 yards in the process. Minnesota’s drive ended with the Vikings boosting their double digit lead. The game was all but decided. However, Cook was in the midst of a possible record-breaking night. He was just yards away from breaking the franchise record for rushing yards in a debut. The record of 103 yards had been set by former Vikings legend Adrian Peterson ten years ago, who coincidentally was across the sideline in a Saints uniform.

The clock was winding down, and Cook’s chances were starting to look slim. He gained two yards on his first run of the drive, then just a yard on his second. Minnesota faced a third and seven. Cook took a carry from the gun and made a defender miss in the backfield before sprinting up the right side of the field. He would gain 33 yards before being pushed out of bounds. The Vikings new star running back was pulled down just yards short of reaching the endzone, but the record was now in his grasp. 127 yards on the ground with 79 yards coming in the fourth quarter.

Cook shut up all of the doubters in game one. He looked explosive and physical on his runs. He also outplayed Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, the only running backs selected ahead of him in the 2017 NFL draft.

Check out Cook’s full highlights below.

Dustin Lewis

Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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