After winning nine games last season en route to an NFC East title, the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins fell to 0-2 this year with a 27-23 loss to the division-rival Cowboys on Sunday. Both defeats have come at home for Washington, which previously lost in embarrassing fashion, 38-16, to Pittsburgh on Monday. As a result of their slow start, some Redskins offensive players have begun privately complaining about Cousins’ performance thus far, a source told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
On the possibility of benching Cousins in favor of backup Colt McCoy, the source said of the latter, “At least he’d play with poise.”
McCoy has never been any kind of solution since entering the NFL as the Browns’ third-round pick in the 2010 draft. Cousins, however, looked like a franchise-caliber passer during the second half of the 2015 campaign. In all, he completed 69.8 percent of passes for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, but 19 of those scores and just two picks came in the Redskins’ final eight games. That led the Redskins to place the franchise tag on the 28-year-old in the offseason, thus committing a $19.95MM salary to him in the process.
While Cousins has thrown for a prolific 693 yards during the first two weeks of this season, he has tossed just one touchdown against three INTs. Aside from his late-season breakout last year, Cousins has mostly been a pedestrian pro signal-caller since the Redskins used a fourth-rounder on him in 2012. That explains why the team was reluctant to hand the ex-Michigan State Spartan a sizable long-term deal in lieu of the franchise tag over the summer.
Assuming Cousins stays at the helm, he’ll next lead the Redskins into New York for a a crucial Week 3 showdown with another NFC East rival, the Giants, who lead the division at 2-0. A loss would quickly place the Redskins well behind Big Blue in the East race and put them at 0-2 in the division. For Cousins, another poor showing also wouldn’t do the impending free agent’s potential long-term earning power any favors.
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