Former NY Jets RB thinks he's 'still that guy' despite disaster season

Dalvin is still cooked
Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets found out the hard way that former Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook was a shell of his former self last season, but for Cook, his confidence hasn't wavered.

Cook still believes he's the same player who rushed for 1,100 yards in four consecutive seasons between 2019 and 2022 — the same player who made four Pro Bowls over that time as one of the best running backs in football.

Cook told Aaron Wilson of KPRC this weekend that he's still "got it all." The former Jets running back asserts that he never received a fair opportunity last season and that his "legs are still fresh."

In fact, Cook is staying ready as he targets the 2024 season. The seven-year veteran plans to play in 2024, but is still waiting for the right opportunity. Or...any opportunity, for that matter.

"I've got it all. The tools are still here. I didn't really get no reps last year. So, the legs are fresh, so the resume speaks for itself. I'm still Dalvin Cook. I'm still that guy. For me, I don't like to toot my own horn. I just like to go out there, put my helmet on and line up on the grass."

Dalvin Cook

Former NY Jets running back Dalvin Cook might be a little delusional

The Jets signed Cook to a one-year, $7 million contract last summer with the hope that he could serve as an important insurance policy and complement to Breece Hall in the team's backfield.

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that Cook no longer had it. The 28-year-old finished with just 214 yards and an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry. He was among the NFL's worst in RYOE (rushing yards over expected) per carry, one year after ranking dead-last in total RYOE in 2022.

Cook's explosiveness and open-field burst — once his calling card in the NFL — has almost completely vanished. That exposed a number of weaknesses which essentially made him unplayable.

Cook has never been a great pass protector or pass catcher. Ball security has frequently been an issue for him as well. Take away his explosiveness and you're left with a running back who really has no place on an NFL roster.

Cook did sign on with the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad following his premature Jets release in January, appearing in one postseason game, rushing eight times for 23 yards (2.9 YPC).

It's become increasingly apparent that Cook just doesn't have what it takes to compete at the NFL level anymore. The Dallas Cowboys are the only team to reportedly show interest in Cook this offseason, and even they feel like an unlikely landing spot.

It's unclear what the future holds for Dalvin Cook in the NFL, but the four-time Pro Bowler clearly still believes he can be the best version of himself. He's hoping to defy Father Time in 2024.

Of course, that requires a team to take a chance on him, however. It remains to be seen if that will actually happen.