Minnesota Vikings: Can Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray thrive together?

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Minnesota Vikings push through OTAs, the question remains if rookie Dalvin Cook and veteran Latavius Murray can both succeed at running back.

After spending some genuine coin on former Oakland Raiders running back, Latavius Murray, the Minnesota Vikings have yet to see their prized free agent acquisition hit the field as he’s dealing with an injury. While Murray remains sidelined, Jerick McKinnon has taken the bulk of the snaps along with rookie second-round pick, Dalvin Cook. Time continues to pass by as Murray falls behind the rest. So the question must be asked: Can he rebound before training camp?

The large back’s value is still at a premium with goal-line and short-yardage downs still an issue that the Vikings must address. McKinnon is a scat back at best, who becomes too indecisive in-between the tackles. Cook can do it all, but on tape he did have issues fumbling and succeeding in short-yardage situations.

Cook is the lightning to Latavius Murray’s thunder. Minnesota will need to rely on this lethal combination if this offense is going succeed throughout the season. Murray has the potential to lead this team in rushing touchdowns with a Matt Asiata, circa 2014, like performance (also hopefully with a rushing average that exceeds Asiata’s 3.5 yards per carry).

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Minnesota toughened up the front five on the offensive line with the free agent additions of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, while adding some interior bruisers from the 2017 NFL Draft in Pat Elflein and Danny Isidora. Bolstering the offensive line should lead to a running game that can be much more productive than what they had last season.

Another underrated aspect that may contribute to more explosive rushing plays will be the addition of wide receiver Michael Floyd, and a possible emergence from Laquon Treadwell.

Treadwell thus far in camp has made some intriguing splash plays, particularly one versus Xavier Rhodes. Both Floyd and Treadwell are known for their prowess blocking downfield. Two-tight end sets with these two twin towers setting the edge may just bring out the dynamic ability in any of these three running backs.

All the signs point to these Minnesota Vikings being a more well-rounded and diverse offensive attack with all the new additions. Health remains key though for the purple and gold, having a constant rotation of lineman in and out with injuries will not lead this Zimmer led team to success.

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If all the stars align correctly, look for there to be a committee at the beginning of the season with Cook taking over bulk of the work while Murray fills in on situational downs. A once questionable situation now could potentially lead to one of the best running back duos in the NFL.