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Dylan Cook is Aiming to be Steelers Swing Tackle in 2024



Steelers Dylan Cook

There are common paths to the NFL, then there are uncommon paths to the NFL, and then there is the route that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Dylan Cook took to his current locker at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Cook started out his football journey as a quarterback, playing at his first collegiate stop at that position. Then he quit. Then, he was lured back to the game with an opportunity to play offensive line at an FCS school. He somehow parlayed that opportunity into an NFL shot.

Suffice to say, he’s the only one that’s been down that path.

Now, Cook is looking to something else that he never done before and that is playing as the swing tackle, or as it is referred to in Steelers lore, the nipple rubber. While Cook has never been the nipple rubber, he is ready for the challenge and is receiving help from tight ends on the roster.

“Honestly, probably not,” Cook told Alan Saunders of Steelers Now. “I mean I did it freshman year on scout team a few times when they needed a big tight end, yeah, but other than no, this will be a first. … It’s a challenge. It makes me think. Got to think a little bit more because I don’t know the position. These guys have helped me out, Darnell [Washington] and Meatball [Connor Heyward], they’ve helped me out pretty good. If there’s a future in it, I’ll give my all to be a part of it.”

While Cook would like to be a starting tackle, just like any player at their respective position would like to be the starter, he is prepared to play in whatever role the team needs to help win games.

“Absolutely, at the end of the day, it’s whatever I can do to help this team win games,” Cook said. “If that is where they see me then I am going to go out there and do it to my best, give my all and do whatever I can do to help us win.”

Another thing that the quarterback turned offensive lineman worked on in the offseason was his ability to play left or right tackle. Cook stated that training for both will allow him to be ready for whenever his name is called upon this season.

“Just really nailing down the technique of both playing left and right side,” Cook said. “Every team needs a swing tackle. If that’s a spot I can fill this year, I’m more than happy to do it and I’m prepared to do it. … People don’t really think about it but if you spend it on one side too long, the ankle on the other side will get tight, your hip will get tighter, so when you do flip to that other side, the mobility isn’t there, the bend, the strength isn’t there.”

Cook impressed the Steelers coaches last season enough to land on the 2023 final roster. Now, with a full season inside of the system and the city, Cook is feeling comfortable in his environment and expects to put on even more of a show this season.

“Absolutely, I know the guys now and not coming in here not knowing a single person,” Cook said. “I know the coaches and I know what the coaches want to see so definitely a better spot than I was in last year.”

Cook is not guaranteed to be the team’s swing tackle and he knows it. He will have to outshine guys like Devery Hamilton and Tyler Beach in training camp to secure a spot on the final roster, and Cook is ready for just that.

“Once we get to Latrobe, we’ll really see where the chips will fall.”

60 • Dylan Cook, Tackle, Montana
6-foot-6, 305 pounds, 26 years old, 2nd Season

Acquired: The Steelers signed Dylan Cook to a one-year free agent contract on May 18, 2023, three days after he had been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Career: Dylan Cook signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent on May, 1, 2022, just after the 2022 NFL Draft.

Cook played in 73 snaps over three games of Tampa’s 2022 preseason, all at left tackle. He was rated by Pro Football Focus as well above-average pass blocker and a below-average run blocker.

The Buccaneers released Cook after training camp, and he was signed to the team’s practice squad, but did not appear in a game in the 2022 season. He was signed to a reserve/future contract for the 2023 season in January, but released before the start of minicamp.

Year GP Snaps PR Eff % Sacks Penalties PFF Rating
2022 0 0 0 0 0
2023 0 0 0 0 0

College: A Butte, Montana native, Dylan Cook came out of Butte High School as a quarterback and attended NAIA Montana State-Northern for his first two collegiate seasons, seeing some action in 2017.

In 2018, he made the extremely unusual transition from quarterback to offensive line while transferring up to the FCS level to walk on with the Montana Grizzlies. Cook sat out 2018 due to the transfer, but played in the 13 games, winning a starting job in 2019 and a scholarship.

His 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, but Cook returned in 2021 and became an All-Big Sky selection at tackle. That led to him signing with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent last spring.

Salary cap and future: If he makes the 53-man roster, Dylan Cook will count for $915,000 against the Steelers salary cap in 2024, and he would become a free agent after the season.

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