Kirk Cousins tries to build off successes from first start, reduce mistakes

As quarterback Kirk Cousins readies for his second start of the season Sunday for the Washington Redskins, he said he’s not concerned that the Dallas Cowboys might have a better chance to prepare to face him than the Atlanta Falcons had last week.

“They had plenty of film on me from last year and really from this year, too,” Cousins said Wednesday at Redskins Park. “They know what we would want to do in this system with a guy like me. I don’t feel like we caught Atlanta off guard. I don’t feel like we’re gonna catch Dallas off guard. I think that it’s about executing. It’s about not beating yourself and controlling what we can control and doing it at a high level. And that’s what we’re working to do on Sunday.”

Cousins threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in last Sunday’s loss at Atlanta. But he also had three turnovers, including a lost fumble and two interceptions, and threw an incompletion on a two-point conversion play that would have given the Redskins the lead in the final seconds. That start for Cousins came four days after Coach Mike Shanahan announced that the Redskins would shut down Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season and make Cousins the starter.

Cousins said he’s also not fretting about what impact his performance in each game will have on his offseason trade value.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins throws from the pocket against Atlanta. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“I’m living in the present,” he said. “I’ve got enough to worry about here and now. We didn’t get the win on Sunday and so I’m hungry for a win. And whatever may come down the line this offseason, two years from now [or] beyond that is just not something that I’m gonna spend a lot of time being concerned about because I have enough to worry about here in the present. And that’s beating Dallas and putting on a good performance.”

He said his feelings about his play against the Falcons hadn’t changed from Sunday.

“I would stick to the same tune I had after the game,” Cousins said. “I felt like there two, three, four plays that you want to take back. And the rest of the game, I felt pretty good about. Unfortunately I can’t take those two, three, four plays back and those kind of defined the result of the game. That’s why you work so hard is to avoid those little plays.”

The Redskins didn’t make major changes to their offense last week for Cousins’s start, according to him.

“At the end of the day, I think the offense is very similar,” Cousins said. “We’re still able to run our concepts. The way we get to them may be presented a little bit differently. But I would not believe that if you talk to the rest of the offense they would say it’s changed. I think they feel like we’re still running our base training camp offense and we still carry that zone-read possibility every week. That’s always something that could be called, just depending on what the situation dictates. But clearly against Atlanta it wasn’t something we used.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

●  The Redskins practice at 11:50 on Thursday, with coordinators Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett and head coach Mike Shanahan expected to speak with reporters afterward.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

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Seattle’s Wilson might be the best of NFL’s young star QBs

D.C. Sports Bog: Baylor teammates defend Griffins | Cerrato on the future | More

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