1. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
It was the right move to release Ezekiel Elliott and roll with Tony Pollard this season. Pollard, who is on the franchise tag, finally topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2022 — since he was used properly — and should be even better in 2023. While that's true, he's also never been a workhorse for a full season and there's not a lot of depth behind him.
Right now, rookie Duece Vaughn, second-year player Malik Davis, and free agent addition Ronald Jones are the top reserves. Jones has the most experience but hardly saw the field last year for the Kansas City Chiefs. Vaughn is the most intriguing but at 5-foot-5 and 179 pounds, he's not going to carry the ball 20 times per game at any point.
This is why the Cowboys have been tied to Dalvin Cook who is currently on the bubble with the Minnesota Vikings. Cook was asked to take a pay cut and was against this, so it's likely he's on the way out in Minnesota.
Dallas could look to swing a trade but it would make more sense to allow him to be released, allowing them to work on a more affordable contract. For the Vikings, they would save $9 million making the move, with a $5 million dead cap hit.
Ideally, they'd like to find a trade partner to soak up more of that hit but in the end, chances are high Cook will simply hit the open market.
Should Dallas be able to land him, they would have an even more dangerous backfield than what we saw during their 12-win season in 2022.