The Cowboys may not know when they can expect James Washington to return from his foot injury. at least not yet. Recovery times for Jones’ fractures, the injury Dallas fears he has suffered but has yet to be verified, could range from weeks to months, depending on whether rest or surgery is prescribed. Jones’ fractures are usually revealed through X-rays, which the Cowboys have the ability to perform on site in Oxnard, but they are also sending him for an MRI.
Regardless, the free agent addition will miss the rest of training camp, which is a blow for a team trying to replace two key cogs on the wide receiver depth chart. Chemistry between a wideout and a quarterback is paramount in the NFL, and now Dak Prescott won’t have the time to build that with Washington during practice and scrimmages as planned. Should Dallas look to bring in an outside player?
This was already a strong thought, at least among fans, when analyzing the depth chart. The Cowboys signed 2022 USFL MVP Kavontae Turpin, a speed demon who is elite with the ball in open space, but was likely at the bottom of the depth chart. Washington was competing to start until Michael Gallup returned sometime in the first half of the season.
Dallas might want to go grab someone with NFL experience to join the fray. Here’s a look at some potential candidates that don’t include Odell Beckham, Jr., who isn’t expected to be ready until October or November.
1) DeSean Jackson, 35 | 5-foot-10, 175 pounds
November 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) is called for pass interference as he breaks up a pass intended for Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver DeSean Jackson (1) during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jackson may be long and hasn’t accumulated over 400 snaps in a season since 2017, but it would almost make sense for him to join Dallas under these circumstances. He said in April that he would consider returning in 2022 for the right fit, and the Cowboys’ all-time killer wearing the star feels like poetic justice. His only game over 100 yards last season was against Dallas. He loves showing off at AT&T Stadium.
Washington would be a deep threat for this club, which will have more well-rounded receivers in CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Tolbert and eventually Michael Gallup. Jackson as a deep threat who probably still can’t be overturned at his advanced age would fit well with Dallas’ obvious depth-to-role offense, with TJ Vasher as the red zone threat and Kavontae Turpin as the gadget guy.
2) Will Fuller, 28 | 6-foot-1, 184 pounds
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Fuller is another deep threat option, like Washington, but with much less time on the field due to suspension and injury. He played in just 55 career games (of a possible 97) after being drafted in 2016 and just two last season. But his career average of 14.7 ypc is enticing considering he’s only 28 years old.
3) Cole Beasley, 33 | 5-foot-8, 174 pounds
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
After taking shots at the organization during his time with Buffalo, could Beasley really make it back to Dallas? He recently said he would be interested in playing with Dak Prescott again, but after Jerry Jones hinted that Amari Cooper’s vaccination stance was part of the reason he was fired, how could they sign Beasley, who also missed time and became the NFL’s poster child for being anti-fax?
In terms of on-field performance, Beasley did have 82 catches last season for the second year in a row, but his yards per reception average plummeted. He was at 11.8 in 2020, but his career low was 8.5 in 2021. However, adding a dedicated receiving weapon from Dallas would fit as Lamb transitions into a more edge role.
4) TY Hilton, 32 | 5-foot-10, 183 pounds
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Hilton made four straight Pro Bowls from 2014 to 2017 and even led the NFL in receiving yards in 2016, but has been on the decline. Still, he remains a big-play magnet, averaging 14.4 yards per catch last season despite his receiving tally plummeting to just 23 through 10 games.
5) Emmanuel Sanders, 35 | 5-foot-11, 178 pounds
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Sanders is another player who talked openly about the possibility of leaving last offseason, but has not filed official paperwork with the league office. A two-time Pro Bowler, he played for the Bills in 2021, along with Beasley. He caught 42 passes averaging 14.9 ypc from Josh Allen in a run-heavy offense, still showing the ability to contribute to a quality offense.
6) Willie Snead, 29 | 5-foot-11, 200 pounds
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Snead never reached the heights or recognition that the rest of the names have, but he is a viable candidate. His best seasons were his first two in New Orleans to start his career, passing for just 1,000 yards in 2015 and just 900 in 2016. He fell out of the rotation the following year before moving on to catch passes from Lamar Jackson in Baltimore for three years and then splitting time between Las Vegas and Carolina in 2021 with little to show for it.
6.5) Antonio Brown, 34 | 5-foot-10, 185 pounds
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This stinks, but we have to mention it… that’s why it only gets half appreciation.
Brown, after walking off the field (while stripping) in his last game with the Tampa Bay Bucks, may want to get back on the field. Could he be a desperation addition for the Cowboys? If he can drag himself off the stage rapping, that is.
Brown even tried to gain the attention of the Cowboys in March.
The story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire