Could QB Kirk Cousins end up in the Hall of Fame one day?

NFL Picks, Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins - Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Picks, Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins - Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The most interesting quarterback in the NFL is Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings. Does he have a shot at making the Hall of Fame one day?  I am asking this with 100% seriousness.  Kirk Cousins has been in the NFL since 2012 and has since built quite the career for himself.

Could we eventually be talking about Cousins having a legitimate shot at the Hall of Fame one day?  Is there even an argument to make here?  The immediate reaction might be “heck no!” but I do think there are some reasons why we can believe differently.

Cousins is set to enter his sixth season as the Minnesota Vikings’ starting QB and is entering his age-35 season.  He’s currently slated to be a free agent at the end of the year as well.  This might be a very crucial time in Cousins’ career if he’s even thinking about building a Hall of Fame-caliber career.

Let’s try to build the case for Cousins.

Could QB Kirk Cousins end up in the Hall of Fame one day?

Kirk Daniel Cousins was the 102nd pick in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Michigan State.  He was clearly picked to be the backup to Robert Griffin III, who was picked at the top of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Well, by the time the 2015 season came around, Cousins was the primary starter for the Washington Redskins.  In his first year as a starter in the NFL, he led the league in completion percentage at 69.8%.

He also began his starting career by throwing for at least 4,000 yards in four straight seasons.  In fact, outside of the 2019 season, Kirk Cousins has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in every year of his starting career.

He’s also thrown for at least 25 touchdown passes in every year of his starting career and has never thrown for more than 14 interceptions.  He’s never led the league in interceptions and has thrown for at least 30 touchdown passes in three seasons.

Over the course of his career, he’s gone 72-63-2 in the regular season.  He’s thrown for 37,140 yards on an incredibly consistent 66.8% completion percentage.  He’s got 252 touchdowns, 105 interceptions, and a career passer rating of 97.8.  He’s also earned a passer rating of over 100 in four of his starting years and has passed for 261.5 yards per game over his career.

He’s also made four Pro Bowls.

Now, let’s look at some all-time rankings for Cousins, who still may have several years of quality football left.

Kirk Cousins ranks 28th all-time in passing yards and could land as high as 20th all-time after this year.

He ranks 23rd all-time in passing touchdowns and could realistically hit 18th all-time after this year.

He’s got the 8th highest passer rating in NFL history.  NFL history.

His passing yards per game also ranks 10th all-time in the history of the NFL.  

Kirk Cousins also ranks 25th all-time in passes completed and could also land well inside the top 20 in that statistic after the 2023 NFL season.

Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 4,446 yards and 30 touchdown passes on average in a 17-game season.  If Kirk Cousins can sustain some more of this consistent play into his 30s, we’d be talking about a player who could end up in the top 10 of all major QB statistical categories.

If he’s that high on some of these rankings, while also likely making another Pro Bowl or two, the argument for him making the Hall of Fame is clear.

He may also hit 100 career wins in the regular season in about three years, realistically.

Some may scoff at this argument and say that since Cousins doesn’t have Super Bowls, All-Pros, or a lot of Pro Bowls, therefore he isn’t close to being in the Hall of Fame.  They could also say that my argument here for Cousins making the HOF is watering down how tough it is to have a bust in Canton.

Well, I think there is more than one way to skin a cat.  Players like Joe Montana and Tom Brady’s arguments for the HOF mostly center around their personal accolades like MVPs and Super Bowls.  That’s fine.

Patrick Mahomes would also be a good argument here if he were to retire this offseason. (He won’t, obviously).  But if he were to do so, the main argument for Mahomes’ candidacy would likely center around the Pro Bowls, All-Pros, Super Bowls, and MVP awards he’s won.  He wouldn’t have the longevity argument obviously.

I personally think that there is more than one way to build a Hall of Fame career.

If Kirk Cousins can sustain his current level of efficiency for perhaps three, or four more seasons, he’ll likely be in the top 10 of every major QB category.  To me, that is the mark of a Hall of Famer.

I think the durability, longevity, consistency, etc. argument is perfectly valid to use for players who may not have a ton of personal awards.

Kirk Cousins could turn into that a few years down the road.