James Washington

Giants To Add WR James Washington

Although the Giants have received somewhat surprising production from a largely unknown cast of wide receivers, the resurgent team is not heading into the playoffs with much of note at that position. That situation has persisted for most of this season.

The team brought in a veteran for potential help Wednesday morning. After a workout, the Giants are signing James Washington, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. The Cowboys waived the former second-round pick recently.

This is a practice squad agreement, but Washington will join a team that has relied on the likes of Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James complementing Darius Slayton for much of the year. It will be interesting to see if the Giants, who have seen some in-season additions play big roles for them under Brian Daboll, make a move to bump the former Steelers target up to their active roster.

Both Jaylon Smith and Fabian Moreau have played key roles for the Giants on defense, despite neither being with the team at the start of the season. Ditto Landon Collins, who reunited with his original NFL team early in the year. Collins has become a more integral piece for the rebuilding team down the stretch. Both Moreau and Collins came to the Giants as practice squad players. Hodgins also did not start the season with the team, being claimed off waivers from the Bills midway through the season.

Washington, 26, was unable to carve out a role in Dallas. A broken foot harpooned the former Oklahoma State standout’s season. Following the training camp injury, Washington did not make his debut until Week 14. He ended up playing in just two games (15 total offensive snaps) for the Cowboys, who signed T.Y. Hilton after an extensive Odell Beckham Jr. flirtation. The latter also visited the Giants, who have changed up their receiving situation since Week 1.

Hodgins and James are playing major roles because of injuries to Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson and an October trade of Kadarius Toney. Although Kenny Golladay scored a touchdown against the Eagles, the former Lions Pro Bowler has been a massive disappointment as a Giant. They will kick the tires on Washington, who does have a 700-plus-yard receiving season — back in 2019, when college teammate Mason Rudolph was mainly the one throwing passes his way — on his resume. He also scored five touchdowns in 2020. The Steelers minimized Washington’s role during the second half of his rookie contract, however, leading to the low-cost Cowboys deal.

Cowboys To Waive WR James Washington

James Washington is heading to the waiver wire for the first time. The Cowboys are cutting their offseason pickup, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Dallas’ evolving wide receiver cast now includes T.Y. Hilton, who has overtaken Washington and served as a Dak Prescott auxiliary target in recent weeks. Washington has not played since Week 15; Hilton’s debut led to the younger wideout being a healthy scratch for the past two games. The former Steelers second-round pick will be available to the league’s other 31 teams soon.

The Cowboys signed Washington, 26, to a one-year deal worth just more than $1MM this offseason, taking a flier on the former Steelers contributor. But a broken foot sustained during training camp changed Dallas’ plans. Washington did not make his season debut until Week 14. He has played just 15 offensive snaps this season, catching zero passes.

Although the endlessly rumored Cowboys-Odell Beckham Jr. partnership has not come to fruition, the team added Hilton in December. The 11th-year veteran has emerged early in his Dallas tenure, catching five passes — one on a third-and-30 to help the Cowboys past the Eagles — for 102 yards in his first two games. The third-leading receiver in Colts history, Hilton has fit in alongside CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. It looks like that setup will continue into the postseason, with Beckham still a free agent and Washington headed to the wire.

Chosen 60th overall in 2018, Washington did not catch on in Pittsburgh the way many Day 2 receivers have over the past several years. Following a 735-yard 2019 season spent mostly catching passes from ex-Oklahoma State teammate Mason Rudolph, Washington saw his playing time diminish. The Steelers selected Chase Claypool in the second round of the 2020 draft and bumped him ahead of Washington later that year. Even as JuJu Smith-Schuster missed most of the 2021 season, Washington was unable to carve out a major role. He caught 24 passes for 285 yards last season.

Dallas made Washington and Jalen Tolbert its top two outside receiver investments this offseason; Tolbert has two receptions thus far. In addition to Hilton, sixth-year Cowboy Noah Brown has stepped in as a tertiary target for the team. Brown’s 545 receiving yards sit second among Cowboys this season.

Cowboys To Activate WR James Washington

While the NFL awaits the outcome of the OBJ sweepstakes, the Cowboys are still making other moves at the position. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Cowboys are activating wide receiver James Washington from injured reserve.

[RELATED: Cowboys Still In Contact With Odell Beckham Jr.]

Washington joined the Cowboys this offseason but a foot injury forced him on IR before the start of the season. There seemed to be growing optimism that Washington would be ready for tomorrow’s game against the Texans, with Patrik Walker of the team’s website writing that the receiver ramped up his workload over the past few days. Washington was designated to return late last week.

“I feel great,” Washington told Walker. “From four weeks ago to now, I feel a lot stronger in my plants and catching the ball in general. It’s kind of like riding a bike at this point. Once you start doing it, it all just feels natural.”

A former second-round pick, Washington was productive during his sophomore campaign with the Steelers, hauling in 44 receptions for 735 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers dropped in 2020 and 2021, with the wideout compiling 54 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns between the two seasons.

CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup lead the WR room, with Noah Brown, rookie Jalen Tolbert, and KaVontae Turpin filling out the depth chart. Washington should easily slide onto the roster, but things would get interesting if the Cowboys also add Odell Beckham Jr. to the mix.

Cowboys WR James Washington Back At Practice; Tyron Smith Nearing Return

DECEMBER 2: McCarthy confirmed the Cowboys’ Smith timeline Friday, indicating the team is hopeful the 12th-year blocker can return to practice next week, The Athletic’s Jon Machota tweets. Smith, 32, suffered the injury August 24. Should Smith show sufficient form in practice, the Cowboys are expected to reinstall him at his left tackle post.

NOVEMBER 30: Two key Cowboys IR moves could commence soon. Wide receiver James Washington returned to practice Wednesday, starting his 21-day activation clock. Tyron Smith‘s DFR transaction does not appear far off.

Mike McCarthy said Smith is close but not yet ready to practice, ESPN.com’s Todd Archer tweets. But the Cowboys are eyeing Week 14 for Smith’s return to work, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds. Smith has been out since late August because of a torn hamstring that required surgery.

Smith being designated for return next week would mandate a regular-season activation, as teams have 21 days from the DFR transaction to move a player back onto the 53-man roster. Only one team, the Steelers, has thus far let a player’s IR-return clock expire without an activation this season. But the Cowboys have consistently eyed a late-season Smith return.

[RELATED: PFR Week 13 Injured Reserve Return Tracker]

There will be no position drama when Smith is ready to come back. Jerry Jones put a stop to that recently, indicating during a 105.3 The Fan interview (via Archer, on Twitter) Tyler Smith would move back to guard once Tyron Smith was ready to play. Tyron Smith has been Dallas’ primary left tackle for 11 years. Despite frequent injury trouble, the former first-round pick — an All-Decade performer — has been one of the best in the game when available.

Tyron’s return would inject more optimism into this Cowboys operation, which has been the most promising Dallas squad since 2016. The team can slide Tyler Smith to left guard, and Jones does not anticipate any trouble for the first-round rookie in moving inside. Tyler Smith, however, was not running away with the guard competition against Connor McGovern during their training camp battle. Tyron Smith’s injury changed the team’s plans, and the Tulsa product has started every game back at his college position with Dallas.

The Cowboys have considerable insurance at left tackle, with Jason Peters also in the fold. Peters has since moved to guard but has not seen too much action in his age-40 season. He has been used as a sub and has gone through some games without seeing any time. Mostly recently, Peters did play 20 snaps against the Vikings. McGovern has been the Cowboys’ primary left guard starter. Still, Peters and Tyron Smith have a combined 17 Pro Bowls on their resume. Adding in Zack Martin‘s seven, the Cowboys have one of the most accomplished O-line contingents in modern NFL history. Tyron Smith’s return represents the final piece to the puzzle.

Circling back to Washington, he has missed the season because of a Jones fracture. The training camp foot injury forced Dallas to deploy an inexperienced set of CeeDee Lamb receiver complements early this season, but the team might have a veteran-laden group when Washington returns. The Cowboys have seen Michael Gallup begin to show his pre-injury form, and they are the frontrunners to sign Odell Beckham Jr. The high-profile free agent is set to visit Monday.

Signed to one-year deal worth the league minimum, Washington is no stranger to seeing his role reduced. The Steelers moved Chase Claypool ahead of him previously and did not re-sign him in free agency. Washington has not cleared 400 receiving yards in a season since 2019, when he worked mostly with college teammate Mason Rudolph. Given the Cowboys’ receiver situation and Washington’s injury hiatus, he likely will go a third straight season without 400 yards. But the fifth-year veteran could still be a valuable backup for Dallas.

Cowboys Notes: Dak, Rush, Washington

We heard earlier this week that Dak Prescott was eyeing a Week 5 return, but Week 6 may end up being a more realistic target. Clarence Hill Jr. of the Dallas Star-Telegram tweets that Prescott won’t start throwing until the end of this week. Assuming the QB wants more than a week to ramp up, the Cowboys’ October 16 game against the Eagles may be a more realistic return date.

Prescott has been soft tossing but has yet to progress to “real throwing.” The fact that he’s throwing at all has led some to wonder if the quarterback could even return in Week 4 against Washington. Hill completely rules out that notion, and he suggests Prescott won’t even be ready for the Week 5 contest against the Rams.

Dallas can operate with a bit more caution after backup Cooper Rush has helped guide the Cowboys to wins over the Bengals and Giants. The team can continue to operate with some flexibility after not placing Dak on injured reserve, a move that would have kept him off the field through Week 5.

More notes out of Dallas…

  • Speaking of Rush, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post explores the Giants’ reasoning for moving on from the QB. After spending the first three seasons of his career in Dallas, Rush was claimed off waivers by the Giants in 2020. He had a brief stint on their practice squad before getting released, and that led to his return to the Cowboys. While Rush had fans in New York (including former head coach Joe Judge and former OC Jason Garrett), he also had some detractors, leading to the organization replacing him with Clayton Thorson. “The decision-makers with the Giants felt like they weren’t overly impressed with how he played or what his potential was,” Garrett told Dunleavy. “To me, Coop is not someone who wows you physically. Sometimes you get caught up in that. Sometimes those decisions happen.”
  • Meanwhile, wideout James Washington is still a few weeks away from returning, per Hill on Twitter. The veteran receiver signed with Dallas this offseason but landed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 5, but it sounds like he’ll need a bit more time to recover. Washington spent the first four years of his career with the Steelers, including a 2021 campaign where he hauled in 24 receptions for 285 yards.
  • Former Cowboys second-round pick Gavin Escobar was among two rock climbers who were found dead in a remote area near Idyllwild, CA, per the AP. The 31-year-old spent the first four seasons of his career in Dallas, appearing in 62 games. He bounced around the NFL a bit before ending his playing career in the Alliance of American Football.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/1/22

Teams continue to tinker with their rosters after hundreds of players were cut earlier this week. We’ve tracked all of today’s minor moves below:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith, WR James Washington On IR

For players who are currently injured, but are expected to be available at some point during the season, teams are required to name them to their initial 53-man rosters before placing them on injured reserve. A team announcement confirmed on Wednesday that the Cowboys have done just that with left tackle Tyron Smith and wideout James Washington

Neither move comes as a surprise, of course. Smith suffered a hamstring tear in practice last week, and faces a long road to recovery. The required surgery is expected to keep him sidelined until at least December, an absence which will be widely felt in Dallas’ offense. The 2010s All-Decade member has been a mainstay on the Cowboys’ o-line since 2011, and internal replacement options are highly lacking in experience.

That list includes first-round rookie Tyler Smith – though the team’s intention was to bring him along slowly, and at guard to begin his NFL career. Remarks from coach Mike McCarthy confirm that, out of necessity, that plan has changed (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Machota). Swing tackle Josh Ball could also fill in as a blindside protector, but the Cowboys have widely been reported as being active in search of outside options. That most recently included an attempt to trade for former Jet Chuma Edoga, but the deal fell through.

Washington, meanwhile, is partway through the recovery process from surgery to repair a foot fracture suffered at the beginning of the month. The timeline (ranging from six to 10 weeks) made him a logical IR candidate to begin the regular season. His absence will compound that of Michael Gallup, who is recovering from an ACL tear. Washington’s production fell off in Pittsburgh, but the lack of established options aside from Gallup (when healthy) and CeeDee Lamb should leave him with a path to significant snaps.

At some point, both Smith and Washington should return, which would inevitably give the Cowboys’ offense a boost. With the roster spots made open by the move, Dallas brought back long snapper Jake McQuaide and defensive back C.J. Goodwin after their temporary releases yesterday.

Cowboys WR James Washington Suffers Foot Fracture

7:25pm: The Cowboys will be without one of their new receiving weapons to start the season as wideout James Washington has suffered a foot injury today in training camp, according to Todd Archer of ESPN. The former second-round pick will undergo surgery tomorrow and is looking at six to ten weeks of recovery after suffering a fractured right foot.

Cowboys fans must be sick and tired at this point of fractures in their athletes’ feet. A fifth-metatarsal fracture held former star wide receiver Dez Bryant out for six weeks in 2015, and DeMarcus Lawrence for 10 games last season. If Washington is out for the minimum prediction of six weeks, that will hold him out through the first week of the season.

3:40pm: The Cowboys’ new-look receiving corps will be lighter on experience this year, and a Monday injury may push this situation more in that direction.

After being carted away from practice, James Washington is feared to have suffered a Jones fracture in his foot, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The offseason addition is going through an MRI. The exam confirming these fears would lead to a lengthy absence for Washington, who was likely to be a key contributor for the Cowboys — especially early in the season.

Jones fractures shelved both Derrick Henry and Deebo Samuel over the past two seasons. Henry missed more than two months of action because of his injury, though the Titans were careful with their All-Pro running back and held him out through their first-round bye. Samuel, who suffered his Jones fracture in mid-June 2020, did not return until early October of that season.

Although Washington had fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh, Dallas added him as part of its post-Amari Cooper mix. The team will not have recently re-signed Michael Gallup to start the season, with the fifth-year target confirming his ACL tear will not allow for a Week 1 return. The Cowboys used a third-round pick on South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert as well. The team also returns veteran role player Noah Brown, a sixth-year contributor. CeeDee Lamb, of course, will be the team’s top target after the trade of Cooper.

Washington, a 2018 second-rounder who saw the Steelers continue their run of Day 2 wideout picks with Diontae Johnson (2019) and Chase Claypool (2020), has a 735-yard receiving season on his resume. The Oklahoma State product got there alongside ex-college teammate Mason Rudolph in 2019. But Johnson and Claypool surpassed him with the Steelers in subsequent years, and the team — as it does with most of its wideout talent — let him walk after his rookie deal expired.

Latest On Cowboys WR James Washington

James Washington is on-site with his new team, but not conducting any on-field work right now. The wideout is sidelined by a foot injury, per a report in the Dallas Morning News

As it details, the 26-year-old is wearing a walking boot on his left foot, which will likely keep him off the field for all of this month’s voluntary work. While Washington did “downplay its severity”, the ailment is of course delaying his first formal reps with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense. On the other hand, the Oklahoma State product said that he will be available in time for minicamp in mid-June.

Washington signed in Dallas after hitting free agency for the first time. His time in Pittsburgh was marked by significant optimism at one point, especially following the 2019 campaign. That year, he posted 44 catches for 735 yards and three touchdowns. Having only registered nine starts and made 54 receptions since then, however, it came as no surprise that he departed at the end of his rookie contract.

Washington will have a strictly complimentary role to play in Dallas’ offense, given the presence of fellow wideouts CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, as well as tight end Dalton Schultz. After the team traded away Amari Cooper and saw Cedrick Wilson depart in free agency, though, there figures to be significant snaps available for him. Overall, he is remaining optimistic that he will be able to develop chemistry in time to make his presence felt once the season starts.

“I’m getting mental reps” he said. “We can always develop timing and get on the same page.”

Cowboys To Sign James Washington

After losing two key members of their receiving corps, the Cowboys are adding a new wideout. The team is signing James Washington to a one-year deal (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). 

Washington, who will be 26 next season, is a native of Texas. He had spent four seasons with the Steelers, who drafted him in the second round in 2018. Many felt he would be the next in a long line of productive wideouts developed in the Steel City, especially when he posted 44 catches for 735 yards and three touchdowns in his second season.

However, he has seen his role reduced since then. As the team has continued drafting at the position, bringing in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, Washington has been on the field for less than half of the team’s plays in each of the past two seasons. During that stretch, he totalled 54 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns.

The news comes after the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Browns and saw Cedrick Wilson leave for Miami in free agency. While the team still has CeeDee Lamb, along with franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultzthe vacancy left by the former two should leave plenty of opportunities for the once (Oklahoma State) Cowboy.

Meanwhile for the Steelers, this marks the second departure in the WR corps in a matter of hours. JuJu Smith-Schuster reportedly agreed to a one-year deal in Kansas City earlier today. There is now an opening on their roster to add at least a complimentary pass catcher.