There was some optimism that former OSU star James Washington may be returning to the field soon for the Dallas Cowboys after the team opened up his practice window last month after dealing with a preseason foot injury that required months of rehab, but alas, the long wait appears to have been for naught. The team announced on Wednesday that instead it has cut the former Steelers draft pick as the team preps for the playoffs primed to roll with former OU star Ceedee Lamb, fellow 2018 draftee Michael Gallup and long-time Colts star T.Y. Hilton.
“I actually feel bad about James’ opportunity here,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday. “The timing of injury was a big part of it. Had a big injury in the spring, then an injury first day in Oxnard. Lot of these moves . . . special teams plays a big part in these decisions. I think the world of him and the way he works. He’s a good man. Hopefully our paths cross again.”
Washington’s practice window was opened in early December and he could have been activated to the 53-man roster at any point after that. But with the team signing veteran T.Y. Hilton, Washington was a healthy scratch the last two weeks that ultimately led to him being cut.
Washington signed with the Cowboys last offseason after spending his first four seasons in Pittsburgh with the Steelers. In 15 games in 2021 he totaled 285 yards on 24 receptions but was clearly excised from the team’s long-term plan at receiver, as he played primarily in a part-time role as a field-stretching specialist.
At OSU, Washington totaled 4,472 yards receiving in four seasons including a career-high 1,549 yards receiving in his final season before going on to be the No. 60 overall selection by the Steelers in the 2018 draft.