WASHINGTON — Colin Cowherd has made a sea change in his position on Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, a transformation which probably bothers me more than you, but for reasons I would argue have merit nonetheless.
Let’s start with Cowherd’s shockingly reasonable take on Cousins and whether the Redskins should re-sign him, which comes via Cowherd’s televised radio show on Fox Sports 1.
“The point about Kirk Cousins is you’re being unrealistic. Well, he’s not Tom Brady. Who is? He’s not Big Ben. Who is? Here’s all you have to ask: Can you win a division? Are you emotionally and physically stable enough to win a division? Teddy Bridgewater, yes. Kirk Cousins, yes. Alex Smith, yes. Andy Dalton, yes. Kirk Cousins, yes. They’re good enough to win a division.
“Are they gonna be Brady, Brees, Big Ben? No. And you’re company’s not gonna be Google. That’s okay. Not every company can be Facebook. Not every quarterback can be Big Ben. If you create unrealistic expectations for yourself, your business, your quarterback, you’re gonna take huge risks that are ridiculous. You’re gonna take huge risks.
“My life is filled with doubles. I’m a lifetime doubles hitter and it’s been a great life because I’m not unrealistic. I figured out early. I’m 6-1 and I’m not, I can’t, I’ll never, I love basketball. I live for basketball. I realized one day at a college practice: not playing in the NBA. I’m gonna be a broadcaster.”
This profound change of heart from Cowherd should be commendable, if not for the years of evidence we have to prove something’s behind it. How does one go from calling Cousins “absolute fool’s gold” in ranking him in the bottom tier of NFL quarterbacks to saying he’s “emotionally and physically stable enough” to win a division in the span five months?
Sure, you could say Cousins made Cowherd a believer with his season, but those mountains of evidence would beg to differ. Take what Cowherd said about Cousins’ strong 2015 season for example. This was Cowherd’s take last July:
“If you look at Kirk Cousins, I can give you two numbers: Got ’em to the playoffs, 70 percent completion rate! Okay, let’s give it some context. They won the NFC East, which was, of all the divisions last year, the biggest disaster in the NFL. Romo got hurt, Sam Bradford and Chip Kelly didn’t work and New York’s best defender blew his hand off. Chaos.
“So, let’s look at the division that the Washington Redskins won, because that’s the big thing now: 70 percent completion rate, won a division! The division was a grease fire. By the way, in his first 13 starts, Kirk Cousins was 6-7. Only seven times had more than a touchdown.”
The constant between his contradicting opinions is the ability to win a division. Before, though, Cowherd used that to debase Cousins’ value; now, it’s the centerpiece to his argument for the Redskins keeping him around? Something else is afoot here.
Lest we forget, Cowherd has also long held that Cousins is a “limited player.” What the heck changed?
Perhaps this interview with Mike Shanahan two weeks ago convinced him otherwise.
Cowherd: Is he a franchise guy to you?
Shanahan: There’s no question he is a franchise guy. You give him a good system and Kirk Cousins will win you the Super Bowl.
Shanahan: There’s no question. He’s got all the intangibles that you look for. In fact, one of the reasons why I’m not at Washington is we had a conversation relative to Robert or Kirk, but what Kirk did away from the football field was, did things that I’ve never been around a person that studied that hard, worked that hard. He’s got a great feel. I think people will see… very similar to Drew Brees to me, when he was at San Diego, then all of a sudden he went to Miami, he went to New Orleans: ‘Can Drew Brees play?’ And all of a sudden the rest is history. I think Kirk Cousins is that type of guy.
The smoking gun: Cowherd’s been Shanny-pilled.
This isn’t to take away from Cousins in any way. In fact, those links above should be proof enough I’ve only ever lobbied for an even playing field, for cartoon characters like Cowherd to make reasoned arguments based in fact, not steamed in hot takes.
Although, maybe Cowherd’s listeners should be leery of a host willing to spin a 180 on his years-old opinions for the sake of buddying up with an out-of-work football coach.