When it comes to the looming chase for quarterback Kirk Cousins, it’s easy to compile the universe of potential candidates: Broncos, Jets, Browns, Cardinals, Vikings, Bills, maybe the Jaguars.
But what if all the talk about Cousins gets other teams intrigued about the possibility of upgrading their current quarterback situation? Consider, for example, the Cowboys. Specifically, the guy who owns the Cowboys.
Jerry Jones knows the value of a franchise quarterback. He was smitten four years ago with Johnny Manziel. He got lucky two years ago with Dak Prescott. He could now get intrigued by Cousins.
“I wouldn’t put that past him at all,” PFT’s Charean Williams, who covered the Cowboys for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, recently said during a visit to PFT Live. “We’ve seen it so many times with his intrigue with quarterbacks. We saw it back with Johnny Manziel. He just gets in his head some of these quarterbacks that he falls in love with. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a little love there for Kirk Cousins and is thinking about those down-the-field throws. . . He does throw the ball down the field way better than most quarterbacks in the NFL. [Ben] Roethlisberger’s right there with him. I know how much Jerry loves that part of the game. I could see that.”
Jones likely would be dissuaded by his son, Stephen Jones, or by coach Jason Garrett. But it would be naive to think Jerry Jones hasn’t at least wondered whether Cousins would be an upgrade over Prescott, and whether the Cowboys should find a way to get the soon-to-be-former Washington starter.
Then there are the Giants. New G.M. Dave Gettleman and new coach Pat Shurmur have reiterated their interest in keeping Eli Manning around. Does that change if they think the Jets have become a viable candidate to bring Cousins to the Big Apple, potentially making the Little Brother franchise the Big Brother, for a change?
Finally, how about the Saints? If 39-year-old Drew Brees wants top-of-market money, would it make sense to make that same investment in Cousins?
It’s unlikely that Cousins will end up with anyone but one of the candidates already on the radar screen. But in a league full of owners who from time to time become infatuated with bright, shiny objects, the brightest and shiniest object is and will be Kirk Cousins, the first healthy franchise quarterback under 30 to hit the open market.