Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan used to work with
While RG III and Colt McCoy had more playing time, Cousins had more passing yards and touchdowns last season, and Shanahan is impressed with what he saw.
Shanahan said that Cousins had a chance to be a "great quarterback some day".
"Kirk's one of the sharper guys I've been around," Shanahan said, per NFL.com. "He processes things so fast. He lets it rip. He's as tough as can be."
But that doesn't mean competing for the starting job. At this point, he's only battling Colt McCoy for the backup spot.
"I think it's just my job to put my head down, keep working and give them reason to play me," he told the Washington Post. "And if they're not going to play me, then to give them reason to say, 'We're excited if this guy ever does get in a game.' That's the best chance I have to be successful."
Cousins played in six games last season and led Redskins quarterbacks in passing yards (1,710) and touchdowns (10). But nine interceptions hurt his cause.
"Coaches are paid to decide where people stack up on the depth chart," he said. "But it's my job to go out on the field and play well. I think if I do that, then I can be at peace with whatever happens."
Cousins said there is no point to remaining with the team, if there is no quarterback competition. Cousins will be in the final year of his rookie contract in 2015.
"Isn't it obvious I couldn't stay here," Cousins said about wanting a trade, if RG3 is named the starter.
Cousins went 1-4 in five starts in 2014 and is 2-7 in nine career starts. He has thrown more interceptions (19) than passing touchdowns (18) in 14 career games. He also has a 59 percent career completion rate.
Gruden said Griffin did some throwing Wednesday and should be fine with rest and treatment, but a final determination will be made Friday.
Washington is a 6.5-point home underdog to the playoff-bound Cowboys.
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