2. Dalvin Cook is washed up
I’ll admit — I was a strong supporter of the Jets signing Dalvin Cook during the summer as an added boost to the roster. My mindset was this: when you have Rodgers and a Super Bowl-caliber defense, you make any moves that upgrade the offense, whatever the cost.
I also felt that Cook was a serious upgrade over what we all saw from Michael Carter last year and rookie Israel Abanikanda. Through two games, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Cook has been nothing short of disappointing and bordering on disastrous.
I’m not sure what the root cause of the problem is, but I think it’s best explained by a myriad of causes. Cook spent the entire offseason without a team, traveling, preparing for the birth of his child, and taking free-agent visits.
Not only does he not know the offense enough, but he also isn’t in shape yet to be a lead workload back. On top of that, his comments after the Rodgers injury bothered me, as it appeared he joined the Jets expecting to be carried to the Super Bowl and is now disappointed he might have to work for it.
From a numbers perspective, Cook has run the ball 17 times for 40 yards, good for 2.4 yards per carry, and caught all four targets for 40 yards. That’s 21 total touches for 80 yards, or less than four yards per touch. He also lost a crucial fumble against Dallas and ran for -6 rushing yards over expected.
So far this season, Cook has -1.7 rushing yards over expected PER CARRY — the fourth-worst mark in the entire league. Not only has he not been good, he has been downright awful.
This is a four-time Pro Bowler we are talking about — a guy who ran for over 1,100 yards just last year and over 1,100 yards in each of the last four seasons. He has 40 rushing yards total this season.
It became evident at the end of last year that Cook lacked the burst he once possessed to hit holes quickly before the defense could adjust. He still has the open-field elusiveness to make guys miss, but he just can’t seem to get to that open field this year.
The fumble against the Cowboys was back-breaking. Down 21-10, Cook took a carry to the left side, got blown up in the backfield, and lost the ball. Dallas drained another three minutes off the clock and added a field goal.
In terms of advanced stats, Cook ranks as 41/45 in PFF rushing grade, 40/45 in yards per carry, 36/45 in yards after contact, 25/45 in elusiveness, and 41/45 in rushing yards over expected.
If this persists, Michael Carter needs to get more carries. Cook is gone after the year anyway. It appears that the Jets bought into the hype and not the player they were getting so far.