FLORHAM PARK — Dalvin Cook is four years older than his younger brother James, but age will go out the window Monday night when the two face off in a Week 1 showdown between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
For the Cook family, this will be the second time the two running backs will meet on the playing field (Dalvin’s Vikings won an OT thriller in Buffalo last season) but won’t take away from the special moment that will be had.
“It’ll be fun. Just get to share the field with him for the second time and have this experience for our family. I tell him to enjoy it all the time. 15 years from now, that’ll be something we talk about,” Cook said Wednesday.
Thanks to Dalvin’s free agent decision, the two Cook brothers will be facing off twice this season now that the oldest brother signed a contract with the Jets. Dalvin’s Jets debut will come at an important time for Gang Green as well. Aaron Rodgers’ trade to the organization has shifted goals for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade.
Now with Cook in the fold, the Jets have one of the most complete offenses in football along with a great opportunity to end the Bills’ three-straight AFC East titles. A win against Buffalo wouldn’t guarantee a changing of the guard, but it would certainly show that the Jets are capable of beating any top contender in the conference.
With so much at stake for a Week 1 game, there won’t be any type of off-the-field jokes coming from the running backs.
“I talk to him (James) every day. It’s our routine,” Dalvin explained. “We don’t have a trash-talking relationship but when it comes down to the moment, we both want to win.”
It wasn’t always a guarantee that Cook would become a member of the Jets. Other teams like the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and even James’ Bills were reported to be interested in the four-time Pro Bowler. In the end, New York was able to nab the former Viking for $7 million.
The running back told AMNY that while he was certainly in talks with other AFC East teams, the Bills were never in contention because he “didn’t want to take carries” from his brother.
“I never get in my brother’s way. They didn’t give him the touches he needed last year I feel. For me to even think about signing with them would be taking away from his moment,” Dalvin explained. “I want to see him be successful and get everything he deserves.”
Dalvin may have gotten the better end of the outcome last season but his younger brother could be used more than he was last season. As the Jets look to open a new era of football with Cook and Rodgers leading the way, Monday night will be the first chance to show that the team is no longer pushovers.
It all starts Monday and while there are certainly playoff implications early, it’ll be a family affair that will make the Cook family very happy.