Cousins, a free agent, is a target for a long-term deal for Washington GM Scot McLoughan, NFL Network reports. Cousins almost certainly isn't going anywhere in 2016, as Washington can use the franchise tag should contract negotiations stall out this offseason. McLoughan praised Cousins's improvement throughout the season, but we'll have to see if it was enough for Washington to be willing to pony up the kind of $17-20 million average annual salary Cousins may require to lock up long-term.
Cousins completed 29 of 46 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to Green Bay. He scored a rushing touchdown and fumbled three times during the game. Cousins set the league on fire during Washington's final push toward the division crown, tossing 11 touchdown passes in the season's final three weeks. Cousins' Wild Card Weekend performance didn't come out of nowhere, though, as he was held to one touchdown pass during 11 of Washington's first 13 games. Whether or not Cousins is treated as a top-rate starter next season will depend on whether fantasy drafters believe that the end of 2015 was the exception or the rule. His ability to score on the ground should certainly add to his case, only Cam Newton and Jameis Winston scored more rushing touchdowns than Cousins' five in 2015.
Cousins completed 12 of 15 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in Dallas before handing the reins to backup Colt McCoy. Cousins and the Redskins didn't have much to play for after securing a playoff spot last week, but they managed to build momentum heading into the postseason by thumping the Cowboys in Dallas. He was carving up the opposing secondary before leaving in the second quarter with the game already out of reach. The fourth-year quarterback really came alive late in the season, with 11 of his 29 touchdown passes coming in the final three weeks.
Head coach Jay Gruden stated Thursday that Cousins will start Sunday's game at Dallas, though his workload is to be determined. Cousins is a candidate to receive rest in the season finale with the No. 4 seed in the NFC already secure, but it appears that Gruden will keep his quarterback fresh with a nominal number of reps Sunday. Assuming Cousins departs early, Colt McCoy awaits to direct Washington's offense, and Robert Griffin may even be active, if Gruden opts to give other offensive stalwarts -- see, DeSean Jackson (knee) -- the day off.
Cousins could be rested in Week 17 against the Cowboys, CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. With the Redskins locked in as the No. 4 seed, head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged that it might make sense to rest some players. He said that Cousins' status could depend on the health of Washington's offensive line, which is a bit nicked up despite having all five starters available for Saturday's win over the Eagles. Even if Gruden decides to play his starters, it would be pretty surprising to see Cousins actually finish the game.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58.8||1010||6||6||19||0||71|