Can Kirk Cousins Dance?

A Slate investigation.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 14: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings runs into the end zone with the ball for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Kirk Cousins isn’t the coolest cube in the ice tray. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback proudly drives a beat-up conversion van. He loves Creed. He filed a copyright application for the phrase “YOU VIKE THAT!” The man still manages to be a relatively successful NFL gunslinger despite these obvious shortcomings, and he’s often called upon to participate in moments of public celebration as a result. Can Cousins lift his game when it comes to touchdown dances? Does the NFL’s preeminent Scott Stapp aficionado shed his dorky veneer once he crosses the plane of the end zone?

The Vikings’ 27-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday provided some evidence worth examining. When Cousins called his own number and rushed for a 7-yard touchdown in the third quarter, he followed the score with an intriguingly choreographed scarecrow-flamenco mashup.

Earlier in the quarter, Cousins threw a touchdown pass to Adam Thielen, and the quarterback gleefully joined his star receiver in a chorus line of flailing limbs (which Thielen dubs “The Dead Arm Dance“).

When asked about the dance after the game, Cousins confirmed it was pre-planned. “I thought we’d bust it out today. It’s one of the few dance moves I can do,” he said.

The quarterback acknowledged similar limitations back in 2015 when he played for Washington. “I kind of am restricted to only a few things, which include yelling ‘you like that,’ ” he admitted in an interview. “If I had more rhythm I would love to be a little more creative.”

He may have some rhythmic deficiencies, but Cousins’ eagerness to get down should not come as a surprise. We’ve known since at least 2017 that he’s been hankering to dance with somebody, and, thanks to Minnesota’s talented receivers, he finally gets to feel the heat with somebody on Sundays.

Taking into account Cousins’ growth in the field of movement, his willingness to learn choreography, and his evident passion for the medium itself, we can now fully and fairly assess the man’s ability. So …

Can Kirk Cousins dance?