Dallas Cowboys: Three Potential Options to Replace WR James Washington
The Dallas Cowboys suffered a blow at training camp on Monday as wide receiver James Washington was carted off the field and later diagnosed with a broken foot. While the injury is not considered season-ending, Washington is still looking at a roughly 6-10 week absence.
With fellow wideout Michael Gallup (ACL) expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season, Washington was slated to have a meaningful role as the team’s No. 2/No .3 receiver. Instead, Dallas is left with a gaping hole at the position, at least in the short term.
The loss of the 26-year-old essentially locks rookie Jalen Tolbert into a starting position early on, which isn’t ideal. Moreover, with very little depth, the Cowboys are vulnerable and no doubt will be looking either in-house or at those veterans still available on the free agent market.
Here are three potential options for Big D.
Should the Cowboys employ the “next man up” mantra, that player would conceivably be Noah Brown. A member of the Cowboys since 2017, Brown has contributed primarily on special teams. However, he did see time as a receiver last season, filling in for the injured Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb when he caught 16 passes for 184 yards in 13 games.
If Dallas ultimately scours the free agent pool, a notable name is former Houston Texans speedster Will Fuller. Signing a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins last offseason, injuries once again proved to be Fuller’s Achilles heel, as a broken finger limited the 28-year-old to just two games. Although he has yet to play more than 14 games in a season, Fuller has proven to be one of the league’s premier deep threats when healthy. His best year came in 2020 when he recorded 879 yards in 11 contests while catching passes from current Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson. Fuller’s injury history makes signing him a risk, but one the Cowboys could be willing to explore.
Another veteran option that remains un-signed is four-time Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton. While he’s far from the player he was in his prime, Hilton could still hold value as a possession-type receiver, that is, if his nagging hamstring issues do not resurface. The former Indianapolis Colt appeared in just ten games in 2021, notching career lows in catches (23), yards (331), and touchdowns (three). At the same time, Hilton averaged 14.4 yards per catch, proving he may have a little left in the tank. Like Fuller, Hilton remains an injury risk, but his track record speaks for itself, and it would not be surprising to see him step outside the Colts horseshoe and don the Cowboys star.
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