EAGAN, Minn. -- After Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook scored his fourth touchdown Sunday, Nov. 1, Ahmad Rashad estimated he got about 50 phone calls and texts.
In a 28-22 win at Green Bay, Cook ran for three touchdowns and caught a 50-yard screen pass from Kirk Cousins for another. His four TDs tied a team record set by running back Chuck Foreman on Dec. 20, 1975, at Buffalo and tied by Rashad on Sept. 2, 1979, against San Francisco.
Rashad, a wide receiver, caught four touchdown passes from Tommy Kramer in the season opener at Metropolitan Stadium, including a 25-yard grab with 17 seconds left that won the game. The final score was 28-22, the same margin of victory as Minnesota’s on Sunday at Green Bay.
“That’s pretty cool,” Rashad said Monday. “After they mentioned my name on the broadcast Sunday, everybody was calling me and sending me texts. And then your mind goes back to remembering your game.’’
That’s when Rashad thought about Hall of Fame basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“During the week of the San Francisco game, Kareem came to stay at my house,” Rashad said. “We’ve been friends a long time. He went to practice and he and (then-coach Bud Grant) got along fantastically since both were (NBA) basketball players. And then Kareem stayed for the game. He brought a camera and got a photo of each and every touchdown I scored.”
In addition to the 25-yard catch, Rashad had TD receptions of 52, 32 and eight yards. He finished with seven catches for 152 yards.
In addition to his touchdown reception, Cook scored on a 21-yard run and had two 1-yard runs. He carried 30 times for 163 yards and caught two passes for 63 yards.
“Records are made to be broken, or tied, and that’s pretty nice that Dalvin did it,” said Rashad, who played for the Vikings from 1976-82. “He had a great game. That kid can play. He’s so explosive. I see a little bit of Walter Payton in him. When he gets somebody coming at him, he delivers the blow.”
Foreman has gotten to know Cook since the Vikings drafted the running back in 2017.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best back in the game,” said Foreman, who played for the Vikings from 1973-79. “I think he’s the most skilled at his position. If anybody tied the record, I’m glad Dalvin did it. He’s a heck of a player and a nice young man.”
Foreman has had mixed feelings about his big game. Entering the season finale in snowy Buffalo, Foreman and Bills running back O.J. Simpson were chasing Gale Sayers’ NFL record of 22 regular-season touchdowns, which the former Bears great set in 1965.
Foreman came in with 18 and Simpson with 21. They each had 22 after Foreman’s six-yard touchdown catch from Fran Tarkenton. Later in the quarter, Simpson scored again but there still was time for Foreman to catch him. Or so he thought.
Late in the third quarter, a fan threw a snowball that hit Foreman in the eye. With the Vikings comfortably ahead on their way to a 35-13 win, Grant took him out of the game. That also resulted in Foreman not winning the “triple crown.” He won the NFC receiving and scoring titles but was disappointed in losing the rushing title by “six measly yards” to Jim Otis of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I had blurred vision but I could tell the difference between blue and white,’’ Foreman said. “He wouldn’t let me back in. I thought about running back in, anyway, but Bud wouldn’t have liked that.”
Foreman also had scored on runs of four and 24 yards, and on a one-yard catch. He finished with 18 carries for 85 yards and 10 catches for 87 yards.
“That was one of my better games,” he said. “A lot of people tell me that they remember that game.”
A lot of folks might end up remembering Cook’s game against the Packers. For now, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was happy to see him join such elite company.
“Obviously, both of the other two guys, Chuck Foreman and Ahmad Rashad, were outstanding players, and so is Dalvin,” Zimmer said.