James Washington moved to Pittsburgh in 2018, after a very successful college career at Oklahoma State. Washington had glimpses of this potential with the Steelers but it didn’t materialize in his four years with them.
Washington, a native of Texas who owns a ranch about 3.5 hours from Dallas, signed an initial year contract with the Cowboys this month. Former Biletnikoff Award winner, Washington is excited to have more opportunities to showcase his talents. This was something that was largely lacking during his time in Pittsburgh.
Washington stated that he felt like he didn’t get to express his full self because of everything that happened at Pittsburgh. We had a packed room at the receiver. Although I don’t have anything against anyone, I feel that there is still a lot of meat on the bones. I never had the chance to grow and take strides as I wanted.
“I am going to make the most of this opportunity in Dallas. Do my best to ensure they get 110% of what I have and that I reach my full potential.”
Washington was drafted to fill the Martavis Britt’s position in the offense. He spent the 2018 season playing alongside All Pro Antonio Brown as well as JuJu Smith -Schuster who won the Steelers team MVP award. Washington had to compete with Ryan Switzer for reps. He quickly developed a rapport with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Washington’s impressive training camp was beyond expectations. He finished his rookie season with 16 receptions on 38 targets, for 216 yards, and a touchdown.
Washington seemed to be turning a corner in 2019. Washington appeared to be on the right track in 2019. With Brown out of play and former college teammate Mason Rudolph playing half of Pittsburgh’s games each week, Washington set a new career record with 44 receptions for 735 yard and three touchdowns. His touchdown catch of 79 yards proved to be the winning score during a road victory over the Bengals, which helped the Steelers keep their playoff hopes alive.
Washington caught five touchdowns in 2020 for a career high, but his overall production was low that season. He often played behind Smith Schuster, 2020 third-rounder Diontae John, and 2020 second-rounder Chase Claypool. Washington was not able to play in more than half of the Steelers’ offensive plays during his last seven games. It became obvious that Washington would not be part of Pittsburgh’s future plans after 2021.
Washington showed his abilities as a big play receiver and deep threat in Pittsburgh. Washington averaged 14.3 yards per catch while playing for the Steelers. He also made impressive combat catches in tight coverage. He is a 5-foot-11, 213-pound receiver who excels in the slot. Here, he can use his strength, athleticism, and speed to make plays under or above the line.
Washington hopes to be more like the Oklahoma State player he was four years ago, when he caught 226 passes, totaling 4,472 yards and 39 touchdowns. Washington will be joining a Cowboys receiving team that also includes Michael Gallup and CeeDee lamb. In exchange for a fifth round pick and the swapping of sixth-round draft picks, Dallas traded former Pro Bowler Amari cooper to Browns.
Washington will team up with Cowboys quarterback Dak Preston . Prescott completed almost 68.8% last season, completing 4,449 yards and 10 interceptions. The Cowboys won NFC East division championship for the first time since 2018, thanks to Prescott’s passing game and top-10 scoring defense. Washington stated that he wants to improve his skills to create an offense that is “like a highlight reel every week.”