Unusual Friend Rushes to Kirk Cousins’ Defense

Probably Down
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins has been a member of the Minnesota Vikings for five years, and the perception of him among fans is going on — you guessed it — five years of divisiveness.

Some believe he’s a Top 12 quarterback leaguewide, suitable for a Vikings franchise that hasn’t solidified the QB spot since Fran Tarkenton left the sport 45 years ago. Others think Cousins is overpaid and basically a middling performer.

Unusual Friend Rushes to Kirk Cousins’ Defense

So, every offseason — and preseason, regular season, and postseason — fans debate his merits, trying to convince each other a team can be built around Cousins a la the Los Angeles Rams in 2021 or that he should leave the team sooner than later.

Unusual Friend
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, an unusual friend has a take on the “Cousins debate,” former NFLer Dez Bryant. The ex-Dallas Cowboy and Baltimore Raven dragged himself into the Cousins discourse, defending the 34-year-old quarterback on Twitter.

A prominent Twitter account, NFL Rookie Watch, tweeted Monday, “Jordan Addison said in a recent interview that him and Justin Jefferson will ‘instantly’ be the best WR duo in the NFL.” Addison is the Vikings 1st-Round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft and is on deck to partner with Jefferson in 2023 for offense-themed fireworks.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Bryant agreed with the sentiment of the NFL Rookie Watch post, while a different tweeter, Vick Wowo, commented, “I agree. Imagine if Cousins was a Top 10 QB, yikes.”

Well, Bryant wasn’t about to let the snark from Wowo go unnoticed, so he fired up a retweet defending Cousins, “One of the things I love about Kirk Cousins — he throws the ball up to give his receivers chances…he threw a lot of picks playing that way but he got 2 dawgs with him now.”

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Bryant’s assertion that Cousins tosses the ball up for his receivers’ liking directly contradicts a familiar and erroneous anti-Cousins talking point, which implies he’s a “dink and dunk” passer. When attempting to discredit Cousins, many naysayers claim Cousins enjoys throwing the ball underneath, a vastly different viewpoint from Bryant’s. In fact, Cousins leads the NFL since 2016 in 40+ yard touchdown passes with 30, but like many Cousins-related items, the stat is simply brushed off as luck.

The Washington Commanders drafted Cousins in 2012, and Bryant played for the Cowboys from 2010 to 2017. Cousins and Bryant crossed paths multiple times, meaning Bryant isn’t “just some guy” observing Cousins from afar. He knows the Vikings quarterback and approves of the method by which he feeds his wide receivers.

QB Is Now the Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Bryant was at an apex from 2012 to 2014, tallying a tremendous 3,935 receiving yards in those three seasons with a gaudy 41 touchdowns along the way. He mounted a comeback in 2020 with the Ravens after missing the 2018 and 2019 campaigns due to injury. It lasted six games.

But, on the whole, Bryant is evidently impressed by Cousins, especially his forecast to feed Jefferson and the Addison the rock this September.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.