Editor’s note: I hope Robert Griffin III plays on Sunday, but for sake of argument, hear me out…
When the Washington Redskins drafted Kirk Cousins last April, it was met with considerable amounts of criticism from the national media. Personally, I believed in the draft pick and wrote an article for the Gab supporting Mike Shanahan’s choice.
Now, the Redskins find themselves at crossroads as an organization. Start Griffin, or rest him another week?
While this question is debated, I believe this is the time to start Cousins and validate Shanahan’s decision. In my piece ‘Depth At Quarterback?’, I stated two main reasons the Cousins pick made sense: 1. Better insurance than Grossman and 2. Could yield a higher draft pick in return.
The first main point, better insurance, has already panned out. Captain Kirk has had to spell RGIII twice this year and has thrown a go ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter (vs. Atlanta) and a tying score with a two point conversation in the fourth (vs. Baltimore). What more can you ask out of your backup quarterback?
The second point centered around the high return value Cousins could present. While surely we all would feel more comfortable with #10 out there, his long term durability is more important to the organization than a game against an AFC opponent. It is time to see what Washington has in Kirk Cousins.
Starting him will allow the National Football League an up-close look at a player some had going as high as the second round. The Michigan State alumnus was a four year starter for the Spartans and has proven he can handle an NFL pass rush. The more seasoning he gets, the more tape he has, the more teams will take notice of what Washington has.
If Cousins starts this Sunday, and plays well, teams such as the Cardinals, Jaguars, and Chiefs will take notice. Without a first round pick in either of the next two drafts, the Redskins would be wise to dangle their backup quarterback and allow their future to heal.