Kirk Cousins

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Mark Rypien just wants a Redskins quarterback ‘to beat Dallas’

Mark Rypien just wants a Redskins quarterback ‘to beat Dallas’

Even when not prompted, former Washington Redskins Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien cannot help but compare newly acquired Alex Smith to Kirk Cousins. 

In the latest RedskinsTalk podcast, the topic at hand was the 1991 season, which was the last time the Redskins played in and won a Super Bowl. 

In the middle of a discussion about Mark Brunell and the 2005 season (approx 24:30 in to the episode), Rypien jumped to how he was excited for the addition of Alex Smith.

“I like Alex [Smith]. I think Alex can bring some stability to this, accountability in what he’s done. He’s a true professional on and off the field. I think that you’re going to see some great things out of him.  I can’t wait. He’s a wonderful, wonderful guy. I enjoy seeing him in Lake Tahoe every year, in a golf tournament, I’ll see him again this year and I think he’s going to do great things.”

Everything so far is right in-line with what anyone would expect from a former Redskin great. 

Of course, Smith is a nice, charitable guy. There is no one that has said anything to the contrary.

Then, Rypien brought up Cousins and how many times he beat Dallas. Turns out he is not too different from most Redskins' fans.

“More importantly we need someone to beat Dallas,” Rypien said. “Kirk struggled to do so, and I think Kirk did a lot of great things. Again, off the field, you maybe couldn’t ask for a better guy to represent the organization, but from the standpoint of winning playoff games, he fell short and you’ve got to move on.”

Against the Dallas Cowboys, Cousins was an abysmal 1-6. Although he has favorable statistics against their rivals with 12 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 97.7 passer rating, wins are the most important stat. 

Smith might not be the guy to get it done though, considering he’s 1-2 against his new divisional opponent. 

To hear the full discussion with Rypien and his favorite memories of that historic 1991 season, check out the NEW Redskins talk below...

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Jay Gruden believes Redskins 'without a doubt' improved after adding Alex Smith

Jay Gruden believes Redskins 'without a doubt' improved after adding Alex Smith

Jay Gruden didn't want to compare his former quarterback to his new one, until he did.

When asked by reporters during breakfast at the owners meetings if the Redskins were a better team now after trading for Alex Smith, Gruden was pretty honest with his response.

"Yeah, without a doubt," Gruden said to a group of media members at the annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. "I don't want to compare two players, but we're always trying to be better at every position. We got better. Alex's experience is well-noted, and his record the last five years is what it is. You could argue that all day, but we feel very good."

It's not the fact that he's praising Smith that stood out. That's expected after such a high profile move for such an important position.

It was the fact that Gruden phrased it so definitively when comparing Smith to Kirk Cousins.

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The Redskins let Cousins go in free agency after they traded a third-round pick and corner Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs for Smith, after a never-ending "will he or won't he sign long-term" roller coaster that started in 2015.

Yes, this will always be a topic that runs the risk of being read into a little more than it should.

Any quote from Gruden involving his former quarterback will be looked at from more angles than are likely necessary, but it comes with the territory.

Gruden and the Redskins are quick to point out Smith's success in Kansas City -- the Chiefs were 50-26 with him as the starter -- but he's also just 2-5 in the playoffs.

Smith's now former coach Andy Reid had a similar sentiment at the NFL's annual coach's breakfast as well.

“He has had a lot of different coordinators, so he has experienced a lot of different offenses,” Reid said of Smith to reporters. “I think there is still room to grow, and he’s wired that way to where he wants to get better every day and you love that part of him.”

Whether fans want to admit it or not, the comparisons between Smith and Cousins will only continue.

In the end though, if Smith can bring sustained success to Washington, success that includes playoff wins, the phrase "Kirk Cousins' contract" will fade farther and farther into the mist of Redskins' history. 

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Report: Kirk Cousins to sign unprecedented new contract with Vikings

Report: Kirk Cousins to sign unprecedented new contract with Vikings

Kirk Cousins broke nearly every unwritten rule of NFL contracts on Tuesday by reportedly agreeing to a three-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Vikings. 

No NFL multi-year contract has ever been fully guaranteed, and now the first time it happens will be for the former Redskins starting quarterback. 

Let that sink in.

The details show Cousins will make at least $84 million in the next three seasons playing with Minnesota. He will join a team that made the NFC Championship in in 2017 with Case Keenum at QB and expectations will be for Cousins to get the Vikings over the hump and into the Super Bowl next year. 

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In the last three seasons as Redskins starter, Cousins threw for at least 4,000 yards each season and broke numerous Washington passing records. With Cousins at the helm, the Redskins won nine games and the NFC East title in 2015 before a blowout playoff loss to the Packers. In 2016 and 2017, the Redskins regressed, winning eight and seven games, respectively. 

Few contract situations have gone as poorly as the way things unfolded between Cousins and the Redskins. 

After the 2015 season when Cousins popped up as a viable starter with a strong finish to the season, the organization low-balled their passer in 2016 contract talks. Things never really moved from there, and the Redskins used a $20 million franchise tag on Cousins. 

In 2017 contract talks, Cousins made clear he wasn't going to negotiate long-term with Washington, and the club again used a franchise tag. This time for $24 million. 

By the 2018 offseason, it seemed obvious all parties were moving on. That became clear when the Redskins traded for Alex Smith the week before the Super Bowl. 

Now, Cousins will be a Viking, and in the process, has dramatically changed the NFL.

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