Did Dez Bryant just spoil some soon-to-be-announced Cowboys free agency news? Maybe, maybe not; but late last night the former Dallas receiver did tweet out his belief that free agent Wide Receiver James Washington, formerly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be signing with the Cowboys.
Washington had been in Pittsburgh for four seasons, playing out his rookie contract after being a 2nd-Round pick in 2018. He grew up in Stamford, TX, about three hours west of Dallas, and attended college at Oklahoma State University.
Dez Bryant was also at Oklahoma State from 2007-2009 and is a Texas native. So it's not unreasonable that he would have an inside scoop on Washington's free agency negotiations.
James Washington to the Dallas cowboys just know you heard it first right here….
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) March 15, 2022
While Dez may have some biased enthusiasm about Dallas adding Washington, it's concerning that James has never been a full-time starter despite being a 2nd-Round pick. He's been a regular part of Pittsburgh WR rotation but only has 25 starts in 60 career games.
Another concern is that Washington is more of an outside receiver and not the pure slot guy that would arguably complement CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup best next season. But given Gallup's ACL injury and the fear that he may not be ready for Week One, Washington could wind up playing other roles.
After leading the Steelers with 735 receiving yards with in 2019, Washington's production has dropped the last two seasons. Interestingly, his career year in Pittsburgh was the same season that Ben Roethlisberger missed 14 games.
Perhaps James Washington, who turns 26 in April, is a better fit for another quarterback and offensive system. He was a pre-draft target for the Cowboys in 2018 and that interest may still be there.
The Cowboys WR depth chart has taken some big losses so far this offseason. Within the last few days Amari Cooper was traded to Cleveland and free agent Cedrick Wilson agreed to a three-year deal with Miami.
Could Dez be right on this one? James has talent and, after a down year in 2021, may not have high contract demands. That could make him a perfect match for the Cowboys given some of their salary cap constraints.
James Washington has already been a Cowboy once, going back to his OSU days. If Dez Bryant knows something we don't at this point, perhaps Washington will soon be called one again.