With James Washington sidelined, the place do Cowboys go at WR?

By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author

OXNARD, Calif. — It took a matter of hours for the unthinkable to grow to be actuality.  

And if we’re being brutally sincere, the Dallas Cowboys themselves appear to be the one individuals who thought-about this an unthinkable thought. 

Monday marked the workforce’s first day in pads at this coaching camp. Earlier than the afternoon was over, they’d carted veteran receiver James Washington off the sector with a foot damage. 

The prognosis is again, and it is not nice. Washington is headed again to Dallas for surgical procedure on a fractured proper foot. The timetable for his return is ready between 6-10 weeks.

The information is a intestine punch for a unit that already regarded eerily skinny heading into camp. Michael Gallup remains to be on the mend from a torn ACL, and he confirmed for reporters final week that it wasn’t cheap to anticipate him to be prepared for the beginning of the common season. When the Cowboys arrived in California, frequent logic steered their beginning trio could be CeeDee Lamb and Washington together with rookie Jalen Tolbert.

Lamb and Tolbert are nonetheless obtainable. However in case you’re retaining rating at dwelling, dropping Washington means the Cowboys’ solely legitimately skilled receivers are Lamb and sixth-year veteran Noah Brown.

For added context: Brown has been a helpful particular teamer all through his time in Dallas, however he caught simply 16 passes final season. He has by no means scored an NFL landing. Essentially the most skilled choice behind him, 2021 fifth-round draft choose Simi Fehoko, has performed simply seven NFL snaps. No different receiver on the roster has appeared in a daily season sport. 

Maybe it is not panic time, as the beginning of the common season remains to be greater than a month away. But it surely definitely feels prefer it’s time for motion.

The Cowboys have been requested about this earlier than. Chief working officer Stephen Jones stated final week that he thought they had been well-positioned to offer their younger gamers an opportunity to shine, although he acknowledged that circumstances do change. 

“I do think we’re sitting in a good spot,” he stated on the time. “No. 1, to see what these young players can do. But No. 2, if we need to make improvements to this roster, and we need to do that, then we’ll look at it.” 

The follow-up questions are assuredly coming. Sadly for Dallas, the free agent receiver market is a bit skinny, particularly with Julio Jones having already signed in Tampa Bay. 

There are names obtainable. 4-time Professional Bowler T.Y. Hilton remains to be unsigned, as is longtime deep risk Will Fuller. The duo of former SMU receivers — 35-year-old Emmanuel Sanders and prodigal son Cole Beasley — are sitting on the market. For that matter, Odell Beckham Jr. remains to be obtainable whereas he recovers from his personal ACL damage. 

Most of these guys include caveats, although. Beckham Jr. will not be any extra obtainable than Gallup or Washington any time quickly. Hilton and Fuller include sturdiness problems with their very own. 

It is value mentioning that they may attempt to swing a commerce. However with the season nonetheless a great way away, and with each Gallup and Washington anticipated again sooner or later, it might be stunning to see them react so strongly, so shortly.  

Nonetheless, it is a riddle that does not have a beautiful reply. It is a puzzle unto itself why the Cowboys let it get thus far in any respect, figuring out that Gallup was prone to miss a while.  

That is irrelevant now. But it surely’ll be awfully fascinating to see what lies forward.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities, offering every day perception and evaluation on the NFL’s most seen franchise. Previous to becoming a member of FOX, David spent 9 seasons masking the Cowboys for the workforce’s official web site, DallasCowboys.com. In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State.


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