Again, it's simple math. Let's say you take home $1000 a week. You take a pay cut of 10% and you are down to $900 a week. If you lose your job though, you to $0 per week. Since you are in DC, if you go on unemployment you are only down to $359 per week.
Let's say with the extra free time, you are able to get a job in 2-4 weeks being unemployed. You've lost somewhere between $2000 and $4000 if you don't take unemployment and between $1282 and $2564 if you do take unemployment.
If you look for a new job while you are working at 90% of your old salary, and it takes you 4-8 weeks to find a job, you've lost only $400-$800.
Risking the layoff and then looking for a job doesn't make any mathematical sense because you can still look for the job while accepting the pay cut. Even if it take 12-25 weeks to find the new job while taking the pay cut, you still come out with less loss than you would if you were on unemployment for only 2-4 weeks.
Now, if you go 12-25 weeks on unemployment you will lose between $7,659 and $16,025.
That's compared to $1,200-$2,500 by taking the pay cut.
There's absolutely no benefit to rolling the dice if you think you can replace the job easily. The fact that you can replace the job easily is true whether you take the pay cut or not, so there is no tactical benefit to rolling the dice.
It would actually be stupid to do it in that situation because the only reason to put up that kind of risk is if you can achieve some sort of massive benefit.