The latter brings stability to Washington after years of uncertainty under Cousins. The Redskins' brass has already preached the move was an upgrade that will help to establish a winning brand, not just put up gaudy statistics.
Ahead of Washington's offseason workouts opening Monday, Smith is already on board with that mantra.
"Letters not numbers, that's kind of the saying," Smith said Wednesday night, via NBC Washington. "Letters are what's important, wins and losses. You can get caught up, especially this day and age with fantasy and all these stats. With that, obviously, there's a balance."
The spin coming from D.C. is predictable.
The Redskins botched the Cousins situation so ineptly they let a young QB walk away after he put up three straight seasons of 4,000-plus yards (including a 4,917-yard 2016) and 25-plus TD passes. Yet for all the impressive plays he made while carrying a team falling apart around him, Cousins could never earn enough victories. He ended his tenure in Washington with a 26-30-1 record and zero playoff wins.
In comes Smith, who has one career 4,000-yard season and one year past the 25-TD mark in 12 NFL seasons (barely inching over those marks last season -- 4,042; 26 -- in his best year). But Smith wins. He has a career 88-62-1 record, including 50-26-0 the past five years in Kansas City, with two career playoff victories.
When a team makes a move that might be unpopular among some fans, like swapping Cousins for Smith, pointing out how much winning the latter has done is a tried-and-true PR method.
"In the end winning is it. Winning is all that does matter. Usually in the end there's a correlation there with good play and with that comes decent numbers usually," Smith said.
We've consistently bashed the #QBWinz crowd in this space because quarterbacks often take too much of the blame in losses and get too much credit in wins. This Redskins situation provides the perfect backdrop for why judging QBs by their win-loss record is a fool's errand.
Cousins played on a team decimated by injury that had zero rushing attack and let its best weapons walk away in free agency last year. Meanwhile, Smith played with Pro Bowlers Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt last season. Simply, Smith has enjoyed playing on better teams than Cousins, hence the wins.
To be clear, it's not Smith's fault he's put in the position of touting wins and losses, nor that he'll be compared to Cousins at every turn. He's simply doing his job. The team's message that it will magically improve after importing a stable veteran is the issue at hand. The Redskins have many more improvements outside the quarterback to make to the roster before the winning starts.