Dalvin Cook's Crisis: Jets' Dismal 1-3 End to 2023

Former star struggles, facing a significant career downturn.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Dalvin Cook's Crisis: Jets' Dismal 1-3 End to 2023
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Dalvin Cook, once a celebrated force on the football field, has navigated one of the most challenging periods of his professional career this past year. After parting ways with the Minnesota Vikings, the accomplished running back faced an unexpectedly prolonged free agency.

Optimism was high for Cook, but the delay in securing a new team hinted at a changing tide in his career trajectory. Eventually, Cook found a new home with the New York Jets, a move that many hoped would reignite his career.

Yet, as the 2023 season unfolded, Cook's situation took a disheartening turn, culminating in a notable low during Week 17's matchup against the Cleveland Browns. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, as reported by Pro Football Talk, Cook experienced a first in his career: being fully dressed for a game but not stepping onto the field.

This development was a stark contrast to his earlier days of glory, signaling a potential shift in his professional path. Rookie Izzy Abanikanda and the Jets' lead rusher, Breece Hall, took the reins in the game, with Abanikanda managing a modest two carries for three yards, and Hall rushing 13 times for 84 yards.

Cook's absence, especially in such a high-profile game, casts a shadow over his future with the Jets and possibly in the NFL.

Cook's Stark Decline

This season, Cook's performance has been a far cry from his previous achievements with the Vikings.

With 67 rushes for 214 yards and an average of 3.2 yards per carry, without a single rushing touchdown, Cook's decline is evident. Just last season, he boasted 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns, showing a promising upward trajectory in total production.

The critical factor in Cook's declining appeal in the NFL seems to be his yards-per-carry average. Despite respectable total yardage and touchdown counts in previous seasons, a closer look reveals a consistent decline in this crucial metric.

From five yards per carry in 2020 to 4.4 last season, and now down to 3.2, it's a trend that cannot be ignored. As 2023 nears its end, marking a tough year for Cook, the focus shifts to 2024. Will Cook find an opportunity to prove his worth and compete for a significant role, or has his time in the NFL spotlight begun to fade? The coming year will be crucial for this once-dominant running back as he seeks to reclaim his place in the league.