'Lot of emotions': Bills-Vikings marks family milestone for James and Dalvin Cook

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary has known of the Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook since they were both in pee wee football around Miami.

Cook is two years older than Singletary, but the Bills running back had certainly heard of him and watched him.

“Nobody could tackle him," Singletary said of Cook. "Every time he touched the ball was a touchdown."

Cook, 27, is the older brother of Bills rookie running back James Cook, 23, and for the first time ever, the brothers will be facing off against each other when the 6-2 Bills host the 7-1 Vikings on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox).

While Bills-Vikings is the biggest game of the week thanks to their records, it’s also going to be a big day for the Cook family. James Cook said the “whole 'hood” would be at the game.

“We both made it to the stage at our career we aimed for when we were younger,” Dalvin Cook said. “Just got to take advantage of it. Fun time for my family, it's something that I'll remember forever. Both of us. Just taking it all in. Lot of emotions.”

Both brothers were selected in the second round of the NFL draft by their prospective team and Dalvin Cook has become one of the league’s top backs. Since 2019, Cook has totaled 4,459 rushing yards (third-most in the league).

James Cook is still establishing himself as a playmaker in the Bills offense. He has 28 carries for 147 yards and one rushing touchdown and seven receptions for 96 yards on the season. But it remains to be seen how his role will be impacted long-term by the team trading for running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts before the deadline.

The Cook brothers say they speak every day with some trash talk sprinkled in for this week. James said he looks up to his older brother, while Dalvin gives his younger brother advice -- such as after James fumbled his first NFL carry in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

“Just going through rookie moments, man. I'll be there for him as much as I can,” Dalvin said. “He knows my phone is always on ring for him. Call me anytime, I'll answer. And any little thing he wants to know, I'm always there for him. I know how that rookie year get, that rookie wall and stuff like that, just going through the moments, just talking him through it.”

The pair have worked out together the past two offseasons with a group that includes Singletary, who would see them almost every day.

“They are both funny, they're both laid back and they don't open up much until they get to know you and they both, they're just ballers,” Singletary said. “And I feel like they're ballers in their own way. Like they're similar, but they're different.”

Current Bills who used to play for the Vikings have noticed the on-field similarities between the two. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to James having similarities to Dalvin. Quarterback Case Keenum, when asked about Dalvin, referred to the Vikings back as “Cook 1.0” and his teammate as “Cook 2.0.”

“Big Cook … he got the breakaway speed. He'll run through you," Singletary said. "He breaks lots of tackles. He won't really shake you as much, but he got just enough to make you miss.

"Then James is like, OK, I feel like he can catch out the backfield better. He can run all those routes, but he also can play running back. He might not be like a bruiser kind of like how his brother can be, but he can still run the ball.”

A lot will be on the line for the brothers’ teams when they meet Sunday, with the Vikings looking to extend a six-game winning streak and the Bills hoping to bounce back from a close loss to the New York Jets.

But there will still be time for some special moments. James said the brothers are planning to swap jerseys after the game.

“It’s going to be fun,” James said.

NFL Nation Vikings reporter Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.