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'Willing to do anything': Dylan Cook's remarkable football road leads to Tampa Bay signing

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Posted at 6:10 PM, May 03, 2022

MISSOULA — You would think that an athlete like Dylan Cook would've had his eyes glued to the 2022 NFL Draft over the past weekend.

But for the former Griz offensive lineman, that wasn't the case.

Cook spent Thursday and Friday working his job at Wal-Mart, and on Saturday was hanging out at home as the draft was concluding when he received a life-changing call.

"It was probably one o'clock and my agent texted me and said the (Tampa Bay) Bucs were interested and he'll get back to me," Cook told MTN Sports. "I think it was around the 10th pick of the seventh round he called me and said the deal was done so the draft wasn't even over yet and I already kind of knew where I was going.

"It was pretty cool. My stomach was turning the whole phone call. He started off with, 'The deal is done,' and my stomach just dropped. I was like no way, this is awesome."

Cook signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team highlighted by all-time great Tom Brady. He'll report to rookie minicamp on May 13 in Tampa, Florida.

After the news was out, Cook tried to find a way to relax at home, but the outpouring of congratulations was everywhere.

"It was hectic so once it was figured out I literally just tried to hop on my Xbox and play (NBA) 2K," Cook said. "I think it took maybe two hours just for me to get to halftime (in the game) because I kept having to pause it and answer phone calls and respond to text messages, and it's cool, it's all love, everyone meant well, it was really cool to see."

Cook's story is a unique one filled with overcoming obstacles.

Cook moved to Butte for his high school years after growing up in Deer Lodge and Anaconda. As a senior at Butte High School, Cook, a standout quarterback, broke his collarbone in the first game of his senior year, prematurely ending that season.

"I would go back in time and tell that kid to just relax, it'll all work itself out," Cook said with a big smile.

He received one offer out of high school at MSU-Northern in Havre where he spent two years playing quarterback.

But in 2018, he left Northern and walked on at Montana and made the switch to offensive lineman, and was the Grizzlies' starting right tackle the last two seasons.

"I love this game and I'm really willing to do anything I can to even just see the field," Cook said. "When I first showed up here, my first goal was just travel and just to be on the team and somehow traveling whether that's PAT or as just a second string and it happened pretty quick where I was just thrown in the fire and it worked out and kind of did my thing.

"It was kind of just instilled in me with my parents to put my head down and be a grinder and not be too loud about it and just kind of do my own thing, keep it personal and keep my circle tight."

It's the latest in a line of opportunities where Cook has proven the odds wrong.

Now, Cook will get another chance at the highest level of football in the NFL, and those adversities throughout his career have prepped him for this opportunity.

"The thing is though is Cooper Kupp put out a tweet that day," Cook said. "'Draft day, it's not an arrival it's a departure and it's time to go to work,' and that's really the mentality I've had. I kind of used Sunday to soak it all in and really appreciate it and yesterday and today just right back to work."