After Cousins repeated his exclamatory question, McCloughan replied: "Hey, I appreciate you. That's good stuff, man."
There didn't appear animosity behind Cousins' fiery question. It was the reaction of a competitor with a subtle but clear underlying message: Pay me.
Cousins signed his $19.9 million franchise tag this offseason knowing he'd have to prove himself to earn a long-term deal after just 25 career starts. McCloughan added this summer that he hoped Cousins played so well this year he forced the team to fork over a Brinks Truck-worth of dough.
After a rough start to the season, Cousins has proven worthy.
In his last eight games, the 28-year-old has completed 67.8 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions for a 104.9 passer rating. Cousins' ability to spread the ball around has been the catalyst as the Redskins have streaked to 6-3-1 in the thick of the NFC playoffs.
"I'm always trying to prove myself and I'm always going to be evaluated as long as I play this game," Cousins said after the game, via the Washington Post.
Is the Redskins' quarterback worth $21 million per year? In a vacuum, probably not. But as the going rate for quarterbacks rises, Cousins continues to prove he's on a short list of capable passers that roam the planet.