Kirk Cousins enters Dan Marino, Peyton Manning territory, statistically speaking

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Kirk Cousins knows how to put up passing numbers like Dan Marino and Peyton Manning did.

While he has a way to go to catch Dan Marino and Peyton Manning in the NFL pantheon, Kirk Cousins sure does know how to sling it.

Through his first 10 years in the league, the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback has thrown for 32,593 yards and 223 touchdowns. Though they have only rendered to be 100 percent a .500 quarterback at this stage of his career (59-59-2), the only other quarterbacks to put up those type of numbers in their first 115 games are Marino and Manning. Love it or hate it, these are just facts.

Prepare yourselves for the most controversial hall of fame quarterback debate to ever be had…

Kirk Cousins puts up passing numbers on par with Dan Marino, Peyton Manning

For those who hold onto yesteryear for dear life to protect the sanctity of an ever-evolving sport, it is nothing short of utter blasphemy to mention Cousins in the same sentence at Manning and Marino. Cousins is at-best a top-10 quarterback in the league today. Manning and Marino are two of the 10 best quarterbacks in NFL history. Of course, the Cousins slander has been a tad much…

If Cousins were to average 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns over the next five years, he will eclipse 50,000 yards through the air and nearly amass 350 career aerial strikes for six. You add two more Pro Bowl campaigns to the resume and a career year capped off by a Super Bowl run, you are in Matt Ryan territory. Ryan will get into Canton one day, so Cousins has some hope.

In reality, Cousins may never hoist the Lombardi Trophy like Manning did (twice), or be the gold standard of throwing mechanics like Marino was at his football-playing apex. However, what this data illustrates is there are different ways of putting up numbers in different eras. Cousins has also never played for an all-time head coach like Marino (Don Shula) or Manning (Tony Dungy) did.

Yes, one can argue that Cousins plays in a different era than Manning, and definitely a different one than Marino did. However, Marino never had a running game in Miami, often throwing the ball to the Dolphins’ detriment in the latter part of his career. As for Manning, he had Edgerrin James initially, but he played for coaches who let him call all the shots from behind the line of scrimmage.

While his passes may not look as pretty as Marino’s once did, or he may not have anywhere near the amount of postseason victories as Manning did, Cousins’ career should be viewed as nothing short of an overwhelming success when it is all said and done. He was a fourth-round pick by Washington in 2012, destined to back up Robert Griffin III. As it turns out, he was the better player.

Marino was blessed with the greatest arm the sport has ever seen. Manning was blessed to be the son of a Pro Bowl quarterback and a college football legend. Cousins was a three-star quarterback prospect from Holland, Michigan. It is remarkable all three quarterbacks are seen as statical equals at this cross-section of their playing careers. Cousins does not care if you like that.

Give it five more years and you may be stunned by how Cousins keeps putting up these numbers.

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