Cowboys to Release Ex-Steelers WR James Washington
The Dallas Cowboys are waiving former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com
Washington, 26, signed with the Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent this offseason on a one-year, $1.18 million contract after spending his first four seasons with the Steelers.
Washington suffered a broken foot in training camp and wasn’t able to join the Dallas lineup until Week 14. In two games, he played just 15 snaps and saw only one target. When the Cowboys signed unrestricted free agent T.Y. Hilton ahead of Week 16, Hilton took Washington’s spot in the lineup.
Washington will now go through waivers and any team is eligible to claim him. He will be an unrestricted free agent once again at the end of the season.
The Steelers have carried five wide receivers on their roster since trading Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears at the trade deadline and could be looking for a sixth. Washington played in Matt Canada’s offensive scheme in 2021, but has never played with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.
A 5-foot-11, 213-pound native of Abilene, Texas, the Steelers drafted Washington in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He had his best season in 2019, when Washington and fellow former Oklahoma State Cowboy Mason Rudolph teamed up while Ben Roethlisberger was injured. Washington caught 44 passes for 735 yards that season, both career highs.
With Roethlisberger back in the fold in 2020 and the introduction of Claypool to the offense, Washington saw his targets reduced. But he was still a productive red zone threat, catching five touchdown passes.
Seeing his role reduced, Washington requested a trade in advance of the 2021 season, which was not granted. He caught 24 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns last season before moving on in free agency.