Predicting which Dallas Cowboys wideout will win battle for WR3 spot

Dallas Cowboys, Organized Team Activities at the Ford Center at the Star Training Facility (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys, Organized Team Activities at the Ford Center at the Star Training Facility (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /
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James Washington, Dallas Cowboys
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers (Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. player. 123. . . . James Washington

The Pittsburgh Steelers found a hungry downfield threat in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They picked James Washington, who ended up having an up-and-down tenure with the team.

He didn’t get many opportunities as a rookie, only catching 16 passes for 217 yards. However, as a sophomore, Washington broke out with 44 catches for 735 yards.

The departure of superstar wideout Antonio Brown and an injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster catapulted the Oklahoma State product up to the top receiving slot. A 79-yard touchdown highlighted his season, but the hype and excitement wouldn’t last long.

Pittsburgh drafted Chase Claypool in the first round of the 2020 draft and favored Diontae Johnson as the WR3 for the team. That forced Washington to take a back seat as the WR4.

Come 2021, he finally got entrenched among the top three wide receiving spots … that was, until the team opted to give special teams returner Ray-Ray McCloud significantly more targets.

Despite showing signs of being a dominant downfield threat, sitting back in the depth chart, and sticking with the team for quite a while, the team gave up on their former second-rounder this offseason. During his tenure, they looked to other options far too many times.

While his career was ongoing in Pittsburgh, he owned a ranch 3.5 hours away from Dallas. The cowboy played collegiate ball as an Oklahoma State Cowboy and is now joining America’s Team. Everything is coming full circle.

This yeah, he should help fill in the gap in the slot and can switch with Lamb taking some snaps out wide. It adds flexibility to how the team can line up. Washington can beat corners downfield and make the tough catches in the middle of the field.

One thing he doesn’t do is shy away from physicality. While standing at 5-11 and carrying 213 pounds isn’t intimidating, the new Cowboys wideout enjoys doing the dirty work on the gridiron just as he does on his ranch.