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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Believes The Redskins Need To Have Kirk Cousins 'Locked Down'

If you got a little worried last week that Dale Earnhardt Jr., a Charlotte, N.C., native, was going to jump on the Panthers' Super Bowl bandwagon and push his childhood team to the margins, the NASCAR driver erased the fear with a simple tweet.

Sure, he rooted for Carolina in the sport's biggest game, but he made sure to wear his Redskins cap and shirt during the party. He's not going to give up on his team.

That sentiment was reiterated throughout the day on Monday, when Earnhardt, in an effort to promote the upcoming Daytona 500, stopped by the ESPN campus and began a laundry list of stops – TV show appearances, radio hits, promotional videos – which featured plenty of talk about his beloved Redskins.

"I believe in loyalty," he told Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless on "First Take." "I picked that team, and that's my team. I have so much invested emotionally, I can't imagine changing and starting from scratch."

Before stopping by the bickering tag-team, Earnhardt had a more in-depth discussion with SportsCenter host Sara Walsh, who asked Earnhardt about a variety of things, including his upcoming race, some video bombing and his upcoming wedding, before getting to the heart of the issue.

What does he make of quarterback Trent Williams, and more importantly, should the Redskins sign him to a long term deal?

"I don't have a direct line to these guys, so I don't have an inside scoop," Earnhardt said up front.

"Cousins did a great job," he said. "He set some great marks last year, amazing marks and broke records for the franchise and in certain categories.  He's a very capable quarterback and if you give him a good offensive line, just like any good quarterback, he's going to do a great job. He's very confident so I think it's very important for the Skins to lock him. There's not a quarterback tree to go grab another guy. There's not that many capable, competent [guys] that can go out there and lead your team.

"There's no real standout in the draft that the Skins are looking at, at least I'm not hearing that," he added. "They've got to try to get this guy locked down. They've got to show him that they want him around and make him feel like he's the future of the franchise. I think that's what he wants from any team and you always want to feel wanted. They've got to show that to him and hopefully they can get a deal done. The franchise tag is really steep, so I'm not really sure what the best route is for the Skins as an organization, but I think Cousins can do the job. You've just got to have the line that can protect him. They showed it last year that they can get the job done."

You could say Earnhardt is definitley invested in, and curious, about, this deal getting done. 

On this same subject, he was pressed a bit later on "His and Hers," with Michel Smith and Jemele Hill, who asked whether the Redskins need to pay up or whether Cousins should lower his demands. Earnhardt was split somewhere down the middle.

Other pit stops included recording a podcast with Matthew Berry, another Redskins fan, and co-host Field Yates. Then he swung by "The Paul Finebaum" show, "NFL Insiders," "The Freddie Coleman Show" and "Highly Questionable with Dan Le Batard," before joining Lindsay Czarniak on the 6 o'clock SportsCenter.

Oh, and then he caught up with former Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell.

After a busy day of promotion, and lots of insight on his football team, Earnhardt might as well consider becoming an ESPN Redskins insider. At least that way he'd have an inside scoop. 




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