Washington entered camp as the Cowboys’ No. 4 wide receiver and was expected to play a key role in making up for the production lost by trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns this spring. In 2021, Washington caught 24 passes for 285 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, prior to signing in Dallas as a free agent.
However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys feared Washington had suffered a Jones fracture in his foot, which would sideline him for a significant time. Later in the day, the Cowboys confirmed that Washington would miss six to 10 weeks.
Here’s a look at some of the Cowboys’ top options to replace Washington:
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham, arguably the most gifted receiver still available in free agency, could potentially serve as an upgrade over Washington, even when Washington returns from the injury.
Fresh off winning his first Super Bowl ring as a key contributor down the stretch of the Los Angeles Rams‘ run last season, Beckham is on the mend from a torn ACL suffered during the first half of the Super Bowl.
Last season, Beckham caught 44 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns in 13 combined games for the Browns and Rams.
If Beckham is fully healthy, he would provide veteran leadership and explosive playmaking ability, particularly in the vertical passing game, opposite CeeDee Lamb in Dak Prescott’s supporting cast.
With Lamb serving as the offense’s top target, Beckham has the chance to thrive as a reliable pass-catcher with upside, especially down the stretch — a time when the Cowboys have faltered significantly in recent years.
Devin Gray has been on the cusp of breaking through onto an active NFL roster and could parlay a strong finish to the USFL season into a significant opportunity with the Cowboys.
Gray, 27, was a focal point of the Philadelphia Stars’ passing attack this spring. He caught 26 passes for 215 yards, and a pair of touchdowns, including pulling down a touchdown in a championship game loss to the Birmingham Stallions.
According to league sources, Gray is drawing significant interest from several teams, who view the University of Cincinnati product as a plug-and-play receiver with upside.
A reunion could be in the works for the Cowboys and one of the franchise’s longest-tenured playmakers of the past decade.
Cole Beasley remains a free agent after being released by the Buffalo Bills on March 17, and his ability to make plays over the middle of the field, from the slot, may be exactly what the Cowboys’ offense needs.
Last season, Beasley caught 82 passes for 693 yards and a touchdown, despite his role being dramatically diminished by the Bills.
A prolific playmaker during his collegiate career at Arkansas State, Jonathan Adams put a season’s worth of contested catches and athletic leaping receptions on film this spring with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers.
Only four receivers accounted for more yards than Adams’ 31 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns for the Breakers.
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Lions, where he spent six weeks last season, Adams caught 166 passes for 2,306 yards and 21 touchdowns in 47 games during his collegiate career at Arkansas State.
Adams, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, could be the exact kind of big-bodied red-zone weapon the Cowboys need around Prescott.
Hilton is a high-quality and productive receiver, who could be an instant infusion of veteran leadership into the Cowboys’ offense.
The fact that Hilton didn’t drop a single pass, and his consistency as a route-runner, could give Prescott a real boost in the passing game and a steady second option behind Lamb in his target hierarchy.