4. James Washington, WR, 2022
The decision to trade Amari Cooper for essentially a fifth-round pick will haunt the Cowboys for the next couple of years. They did find themselves in a tough spot with the salary cap, which was self-inflicted, but moving Cooper wasn’t the right move.
Sure, CeeDee Lamb was ready to be the No. 1 option. He proved this with 107 receptions, 1,359 yards, and nine touchdowns in 2022. What was even more impressive is that he accomplished these numbers despite a slow start to the season.
The problem, however, was that no one on the roster was ready to take over as the No. 2 wideout. Michael Gallup was still recovering from a torn ACL and looked nothing like the player we saw before the injury when he did come back. Rookie Jalen Tolbert was also expected to help but he was a no-show.
Then, there was James Washington. A former second-round pick out of Oklahoma State, Washington was added in the offseason following four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was buried on their depth chart but had 735 yards in 2019 and the Cowboys were betting on him meeting his potential after a fresh start.
That never happened as Washington was hurt in training camp and spent most of the year injured. He finally showed up in Week 13 and dropped his lone target. He appeared in just one more game before being released.
Dallas didn’t spend a lot on Washington but his addition looks worse since he was supposed to help them replace Cooper. Instead, he took 15 snaps before being let go.