On Friday, the Cowboys finally got on the board in terms of signing a free agent that wasn’t already on their team. Wide receiver James Washington, who’s spent all four years of his NFL career with the Steelers, is coming to Dallas. Notably, Dez Bryant predicted this signing days prior:
Like Bryant, Washington played his college ball at Oklahoma State, making this his second time being a Cowboy. Washington also grew up in Stamford, Texas, making this a homecoming of sorts for the receiver.
Coming out of college, Washington was a prospect banking on his upside. Oklahoma State had largely used him as a deep threat, and it had worked well. Washington tallied at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his final three seasons in Stillwater and averaged an absurd 20.3 yards per catch during that time. But at 5’11” and 213 pounds, scouts questioned whether Washington could replicate that kind of success against NFL defensive backs and not Big 12 defensive backs.
Those concerns seem to have been proven right thus far. The Steelers selected Washington in the second round, making him the seventh receiver drafted in 2018, going 21 spots ahead of new teammate Michael Gallup.
Washington never became a fixture of the Steelers’ passing attack, only playing on more than half of the team’s offensive snaps in a year in the 2019 season. That was also his most productive year in Pittsburgh, catching 44 balls for 735 yards and three touchdowns. Also of note, 31 of his 44 catches that year went for first downs.