Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

refer to caption

Cousins with the Washington Redskins in 2015
No. 8Washington Redskins
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-08-19) August 19, 1988
Place of birth: Barrington, Illinois
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Holland (MI) Christian
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 4 / Pick: 102
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2016
Passing attempts: 1,387
Passing completions: 918
Completion percentage: 66.2
TDINT: 67–37
Passing yards: 10,736
Passer rating: 94.5
Player stats at

Kirk Daniel Cousins (born August 19, 1988) is an American football quarterback for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State, where he was the Spartans' starter from 2009 to 2011, and was drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Early life

Cousins is the son of Don Cousins, a senior pastor at Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida,[1] and Maryann Cousins. He is the second of three children. Born in Barrington, Illinois,[2] Cousins attended Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, where he starred in football, baseball (as a pitcher), and basketball. He broke his ankle in his junior year and was forced to attend camps in order to make an impression with recruiting colleges.[3] Cousins finished his high school football career with 3,204 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions.[4]

After high school, Cousins was set to sign with Toledo or Western Michigan, until Mark Dantonio became the head coach at Michigan State in 2007. After Dantonio failed to sign his top targets at quarterback, he offered a scholarship to Cousins, which he accepted. He also participated in Athletes in Action sports ministry. Cousins majored in kinesiology throughout his college career.

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Kirk Cousins
Holland, MI Holland Christian HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 4.80 Jan 19, 2007 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: – (QB)   Rivals: – (QB), 27 (MI)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career

In 2007, newly hired Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio recruited Cousins to play for the Spartans. Cousins was redshirted for the 2007 season. In 2008, he spent the season as the back up quarterback to Brian Hoyer. He played in five games passing for a total of 310 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. In 2009, he competed for and won the starting quarterback job against teammate Keith Nichol. He led Michigan State to a 6–7 (4-4) season with 19 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and 2,680 passing yards in 12 games. In 2010, he led Michigan State to an 11–2 (7-1) record and a share of the Big Ten Championship. In 2011 his Michigan State Spartans went 11-3 (7-2) and played in the first ever Big Ten championship game. Cousins was named Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches, and played his final game as a Michigan State Spartan on January 2, 2012 defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl. His teams posted an undefeated 4-0 record against the in-state rival Michigan Wolverines.[5] Cousins won the 2011 Lowes's Senior CLASS Award.[6]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3 in 214 lb3134 in978 in 4.93 s 4.50 s 7.05 s 28.5 in 9 ft 1 in N/A reps
All values from the NFL Combine[7]

2012 season

Cousins at Redskins training camp in 2012

In the 2012 NFL Draft, Cousins was selected by the Washington Redskins as the seventh choice in the fourth round, making him the 102nd draft pick overall.[8] The pick surprised many analysts, as the Redskins had drafted 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick to be their franchise quarterback. The Redskins acquired the Griffin pick by giving the St. Louis Rams four high-value draft picks over three years.[9] Cousins was viewed as an insurance policy in case Griffin was injured, with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan saying "You're one or two plays away from being the starter...And if I see that value out there on the third day of the draft, I'm going to take that."[10] The Redskins drafting Griffin and Cousins in the same draft echoed the team's strategy in the 1994 NFL draft, when the team drafted Heath Shuler with the third overall pick and later drafted Gus Frerotte in the seventh round. Cousins officially signed a four-year contract with the Redskins on May 31, 2012.[11]

In the second game of the preseason against the Chicago Bears, Cousins threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, though the Bears would go on to win 33-31.[12] In the fourth and final game of preseason against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cousins completed 15-of-27 passes for 222 yards, the Washington Redskins had a 30-3 win. He won the backup quarterback job over incumbent starter Rex Grossman.

Cousins made his regular season debut in the third quarter of a Week 5 loss to the Atlanta Falcons after Griffin suffered a concussion. Cousins threw his first career touchdown pass on a 77-yard pass to Santana Moss, but threw two interceptions in the last two series of the game while trying to tie the game.[13]

His second NFL appearance came in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. On the final drive of the game, with the Redskins down 8, Griffin suffered a knee injury. Cousins went 2-2 and finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon with 29 seconds remaining, to bring the Redskins within 2. On the two-point conversion, Shanahan called for a run/pass option, and Cousins scored on a quarterback draw to tie the game at 28. In overtime, rookie cornerback Richard Crawford gave the Redskins excellent field position after a 64-yard punt return, setting up a game-winning field goal.[14]

The following week, on December 15, 2012, Cousins was announced as the Redskins starter for the Week 15 game against the Cleveland Browns, marking his first career start.[15] After a slow first half, Cousins rallied the offense to a 28-point second act. Cousins finished the day 26-of-37 for 329 yards with 2 touchdown passes, bringing the Washington Redskins a 38-21 win.[16][17] Later that week, Cousins was voted the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week, becoming the third Redskins rookie to receive the honor that season (after Griffin and Alfred Morris).[18] Overall in 2012, Cousins appeared in three games with 466 passing yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.

2013 season

On December 11, 2013, Cousins was named starting quarterback for the rest of the 2013 season after Shanahan deactivated Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season in order to protect him for the following year, with Rex Grossman as Cousins's backup.[19][20] Cousins appeared in 5 games with 854 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.

2014 season

On February 2, 2014, it was reported that Cousins had stated that he was open to a trade from the Redskins.[21]

In March, Cousins announced that he would be giving number 12 to new teammate Andre Roberts, for the price of a $12,000 donation to the Kirk Cousins Football Camp. Cousins then switched over to number 8, a number he wore throughout his high school and college career.[22]

During Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cousins came in relief of Griffin who left the game with a dislocated ankle. Cousins finished the game with 250 passing yards and two touchdowns in a 41–10 victory. In Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cousins started the game and threw for 427 yards, the first game he had over 400 passing yards. Washington still lost an ensuing slugfest to the Eagles 34–37. In Week 4 against the New York Giants, Cousins had a poor showing, throwing for one touchdown with four interceptions and a lost fumble.[23] The Redskins were blown out 45–14 with a total of 6 turnovers.

In Week 5, against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, Cousins showed progress from the embarrassing loss to the Giants by throwing for two touchdowns without an interception, including a 68-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. Despite the solid performance from Cousins, the Redskins lost the game 27–17. Following a poor performance in the first half in the Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans, he was benched at halftime in favor of backup quarterback Colt McCoy, and did not play in any more games for the remainder of the season.[24]

2015 season

Cousins after the comeback victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015

On August 31, 2015, Cousins was named the starter for the season over Robert Griffin III.[25] On October 4, Cousins led a 90-yard game winning drive against the Philadelphia Eagles, his first since 2012, when he threw a touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon with under a minute left in the fourth quarter, winning the game 23–20.[26]

On October 25, Cousins helped lead the Redskins to their largest comeback win in franchise history, after being down 24–0 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to a 31–30 victory. In the game, Cousins had another game winning drive for the season, eventually finishing with 317 yards and four total touchdowns, three passing and one rushing. Cousins also tied a franchise record for completions in a game with 33, tying Jason Campbell, who did the same in 2007.[27] Before heading into the locker room, Cousins was caught on camera shouting "You like that?!" at CSN Mid-Atlantic's Tarik El-Bashir, which later become a catchphrase used by Cousins, his teammates, and Redskin fans throughout the rest of the season. Cousins and his brother Kyle applied to trademark the catchphrase later in the season, and began to sell T-shirts with the phrase to raise money for the International Justice Mission charitable organization.[28][29][30][31][32]

Against the New Orleans Saints on November 15, Cousins threw for a career-high four touchdowns, as well as posting a perfect passer rating of 158.3, making him the first Redskins quarterback since 1950 to do that with at least 20 attempts.[lower-alpha 1][33][34] Against the Buffalo Bills on December 20, Cousins passed for four touchdowns, and ran for another in a Redskins victory, marking his second four touchdown passing game of the season.[35]

The following week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cousins took an ill-advised quarterback kneel inside the Eagles' redzone with six seconds left before halftime, running out the clock and forgoing any chance of adding upon the Redskins' lead.[36] Despite that, Cousins eventually passed for four touchdowns in the game, his second consecutive four touchdown performance and third overall on the season. The performance led to the Redskins victory over the Eagles with a score of 38–24, which allowed the team to win the NFC East division title for the first time since Griffin III did it in 2012.[37]

Cousins finished the 2015 season posting the highest completion percentage (74.7) in home games in NFL history, with a minimum of 100 attempts, leading the Redskins to a 6–2 record at home.[38] He also became the first Redskins quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen in 1970 to have at least four passing touchdowns in three or more games in one season.[39] Against the Dallas Cowboys on January 3, 2016, he set the Redskins' single-season passing yardage record with 4,166, passing Jay Schroeder who had 4,109 in 1986.[40] He also finished the season with 29 passing touchdowns, second in Redskins history behind Sonny Jurgensen who had 31 in 1967, while posting a league-leading completion percentage of 69.8%, second in team history behind Sammy Baugh who completed 70.3% of his passes in 1945.[40]

Against the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card playoff round on January 10, 2016, Cousins completed 29 of 46 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns, and was sacked six times and lost one fumble. The Redskins lost 35–18, ending their season.[41]

2016 season

Cousins was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the 2016 offseason, but the Redskins used the non-exclusive franchise tag on him on March 1, 2016. The tag acted as a one-year, $20 million contract, which prevented other teams in the league from signing him without giving up two 1st round draft picks to the Redskins.[42][43]

During the Week 9 International Series game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium, Cousins threw for a career-high 458 passing yards, as the game ended in a 27–27 tie.[44] As the game ended in a tie, it also marked the first time a game held in London went into overtime. In a Week 11 game against the Green Bay Packers, Cousins threw for 375 yards along with three touchdowns, earning him his third NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.[45] After the game, Cousins was caught on camera asking Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan "How you like me now?", which many in the media believed Cousins was addressing concerns about his potentially lucrative long-term contract with the team next season.[46] In a Thanksgiving day loss against the Dallas Cowboys, Cousins completed 41 of 53 passes for 449 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, putting him second on the list of most passing yards in a Thanksgiving day game in NFL history.[47] For his accomplishments in the month of November, Cousins won the NFC Offensive Player Of The Month award, his second time winning the award.[48][49]


Regular season

Passing[50] Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
Year Team G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost W-L-T
2012 WAS 3 1 33 48 68.8 466 9.7 4 3 101.6 3 22 7.3 0 3 27 1 0 1–0
2013 WAS 5 3 81 155 52.3 854 5.5 4 7 58.4 4 14 3.5 0 5 32 3 2 0–3
2014 WAS 6 5 126 204 61.8 1,710 8.4 10 9 86.4 7 20 2.9 0 8 70 2 2 1–4
2015 WAS 16 16 379 543 69.8 4,166 7.7 29 11 101.6 26 48 1.8 5 26 186 8 3 9–7
2016 WAS 11 11 299 437 68.4 3,540 8.1 20 7 101.4 21 49 2.3 1 14 108 8 3 6–4-1
Career 30 25 918 1,387 66.2 10,736 7.7 67 37 94.5 56 104 2.6 5 42 315 15 7 17–18–1


Year Team G GS Passing Rushing
Att Comp Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2012 WAS 1 0 10 3 30.0 31 3.1 0 0 40.0 1 0 0.0 0
2015 WAS 1 1 46 29 63.0 329 7.2 1 0 91.7 2 2 1.0 1
Total 2 1 56 32 57.1 360 6.4 1 0 82.4 3 2 0.7 1

Personal life

Cousins married Julie Hampton on June 28, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. Cousins is a Christian.[51] During his time with the Redskins, Cousins earned the nickname "Captain Kirk" from the media for his presence as a leader, referencing a character from Star Trek.[52]


  1. Robert Griffin III posted a perfect passer rating against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, but with only 15 attempts


  1. "Don Cousins". Discovery Church. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  2. "Kirk Cousins, QB for the Washington Redskins". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  3. "Rookie on the Field, Veteran in the Faith". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  4. Staples, Andy (October 21, 2011). "Michigan State's Kirk Cousins beat odds to become face of Big Ten". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  5. "Complete All-Big Ten football teams". Detroit Free Press. November 29, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  6. "2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Football Winner - Kirk Cousins". YouTube. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  7. "NFL Combine Profile". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  8. Rosenthal, Gregg (April 28, 2012). "Kirk Cousins: Washington Redskins' future backup QB".
  9. NFL Draft 2012: Washington Redskins make surprise move drafting Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins
  10. Mike Shanahan: RGIII 'understands,' supports Cousins pick
  11. Tinsman, Brian (May 31, 2012). "Redskins Sign Fourth-Round Pick Cousins". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  12. "Offensive line takes step in right direction". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  13. Tinsman, Brian (October 7, 2012). "Cousins: 'I Tried To Do Too Much'". Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  14. Tinsman, Brian (December 10, 2012). "Monday Morning Stats Pack: Redskins-Ravens". Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  15. Hanzus, Dan (2012-12-15). "RG3 will not start for Washington Redskins on Sunday". National Football League. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  16. Withers, Tom (2012-12-16). "Cousins leads Redskins over Browns 38-21". Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  17. Tinsman, Brian (December 17, 2012). "Victory Monday Stats Pack: Redskins-Browns". Redskins. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  18. Tinsman, Brian (December 21, 2012). "Cousins, Redskins Sweep Weekly Awards". Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  19. Keirn, John (December 11, 2013). "Redskins to start Kirk Cousins". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  20. Farrar, Doug (December 11, 2013). "Kirk Cousins to start for Redskins; RGIII will be deactivated for rest of the season". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  21. Wilkening, Mike. "Report: Kirk Cousins "open" to trade from Washington.". Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  22. Walker, Andrew. "Kirk Cousins Switches Back To Trusty No. 8". The Redskin Blog. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  23. Jones, Mike (September 26, 2014). "Kirk Cousins has five turnovers, Eli Manning has five TDs, and Giants top Redskins, 45-14". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  24. "Redskins bench Kirk Cousins in second half Week 7". October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  25. "Kirk Cousins named Redskins' starting QB for 2015 season". ESPN. August 31, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  26. Clarke, Liz. "Kirk Cousins leads Redskins on 90-yard game-winning drive to beat Eagles, 23-20". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  27. Keim, John. "Kirk Cousins quiets critics as Redskins complete best comeback in team history". ESPN. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  28. Steinberg, Dan. "Kirk Cousins is serenaded with 'You Like That' love at FedEx Field". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  29. Allen, Scott. "Chris Baker brings back 'You like that' after Kirk Cousins's big game". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  30. Bieler, Des. "Kirk Cousins is hawking 'YOU LIKE THAT' T-shirts for charity". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  31. Allen, Scott. "Kirk Cousins and his brother have applied to trademark 'You Like That'". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  32. Zawacki, Tory. "How Kirk Cousins' 'You like that?!' became a Washington rallying cry". ESPN. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  33. Walker, Andrew. "Kirk Cousins Delivers All-Time-Best Performance". Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  34. "Kirk Cousins throws career-high 4 TDs as Redskins rout Saints". ESPN.
  35. Clarke, Liz. "Cousins's five TDs lead Redskins past Bills, 35-25, and fans certainly like that". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  36. Reyes, Lorenzo. "Kirk Cousins costs Redskins shot at points by taking knee". USA Today. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  37. Ortega, Mark. "Redskins clinch NFC East with win over Eagles". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  38. Tandler, Rich. "One stat puts Cousins ahead of Brady, Manning, Brees, others". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  39. "Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed connection is among best ones going now". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  40. 1 2 Phillips, Michael. "Kirk Cousins sets Redskins single-season yardage record". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  41. "Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins - January 10th, 2016".
  42. "Washington Redskins franchise tag Kirk Cousins". Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  43. Czarda, Stephen. "Kirk Cousins Signs Franchise Tender". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  44. Kratch, James (October 30, 2016). "Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals: RECAP, score and stats (10/30/16), NFL Week 8". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  45. Lam, Quang M. (November 23, 2016). "Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins among Players of Week".
  46. Ingrassia, Nunzio. "Kirk Cousins explains why he shouted 'How you like me now' to Redskins GM". Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  47. Tandler, Rich. "Kirk Cousins' stats vs. Dallas were stellar, but one problem persists". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  48. Czarda, Stephen. "Redskins Quarterback Kirk Cousins Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Month". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  49. Lam, Quang M. (December 1, 2016). "Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins among Players of Month".
  51. "Michigan State Quarterback Kirk Cousins Talks Faith, Football".
  52. Clarke, Liz (November 21, 2015). "'Captain Kirk' Cousins may boldly go where few Redskins quarterbacks have gone". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 5, 2015.

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