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ESPN Beat Reporters Pick Kirk Cousins As NFC East MVP

There was one player that was simply above the rest in the NFC East during the 2015 season, and that player was Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

NFC East beat reporters for ESPN.com were unanimous in thinking the fourth-year quarterback was the division's Most Valuable Player.

"The NFL is all about quarterback play, and Cousins not only was able to raise his level of play when it mattered most but he brought his teammates along with him," Dallas Cowboys beat reporter Todd Archer wrote. "A quarterback's numbers matter, but it was easy to see just how valuable Cousins was to that team."

Dan Graziano, who covers the New York Giants, said Cousins went from the Redskins' biggest question mark to start the season to the team's "greatest in-season strength."

"Cousins' precision and patience as a passer and a leader made the difference for Washington and elevated his team above a weak division field," Graziano wrote. "The biggest questions facing him entering the season were whether he could be a more responsible downfield decision-maker and whether he could maintain week-to-week consistency in his performance. He answered both and likely earned a big contract as a result."

Longtime Redskins reporter John Keim, who watched the team daily, said really the award was the result of an offense meshing together well.

Still, though, Cousins deserves credit.

"This really should be an award for the entire Redskins' passing game, starting with tight end Jordan Reed and receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon," Keim wrote. "Reed and Jackson in particular draw heavy attention, and the Redskins could play off that to hurt teams with others. But one player had to direct this group and without Cousins developing the way he did, it wouldn't have mattered. They had the same talent last season, don't forget, and it led them nowhere. Cousins, in his first full season as the starter, finished the regular season with 29 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He made better decisions with the ball, cutting down on the picks (he threw just three in his last 10 regular-season games). The next step without a doubt for Cousins and the Redskins is to beat winning teams and then a playoff game. But to deny him credit for how he played this season would be silly. The Redskins' offense evolved because of his growth at quarterback. Cousins wisely took advantage of the talent around him."

Cousins joins linebacker Preston Smith (Rookie of the Year) and head coach Jay Gruden (Coach of the Year) to be honored by the NFC East reporters.

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