With Michael Gallup and James Washington both sidelined for at least some regular season games, the pressure is on the Dallas Cowboys to potentially make a roster addition at receiver. After Washington’s injury, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones left the door open to potentially signing a veteran.
“Stephen Jones gave his standard line when asked about adding a free agent at WR, but it carries even more weight now that Washington is out,” Dallas Morning News’ David Moore tweeted on August 1, 2022. “’We’re always looking for upgrades to our roster,’ Jones said after confirming Washington’s injury.”
Washington is expected to miss six to ten weeks with a fractured right foot, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. Gallup has not given an official return timeline but admitted he will not play against the Buccaneers for Week 1.
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Could TJ Vasher or Simi Fehoko See an Expanded Role for the Cowboys?
Before potentially exploring free agents, the Cowboys need to assess if any wide receivers on the roster could be used in an expanded role. TJ Vasher has flashed during training camp making impressive plays like the one below.
Two additional names to watch are Simi Fehoko and newly signed speedy playmaker KaVontae Turpin. The Cowboys initially emphasized that Turpin will start out on special teams, but the speedster made it clear he wants to be viewed as a “true receiver.”
“Yeah, a return man, that’s what I do, I’m a specialty guy,” Turpin explained during a July 28 press conference. “So, I’m just here to prove [to] everybody that I’m a true receiver. [On] special teams, that’s just what I do. I can wake up and do that, so I’m just here to prove everybody that I’m a receiver now.”
Will the Cowboys Sign a Veteran Receiver?
Prior to Washington’s injury, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy indicated he was “extremely comfortable” with the team’s depth chart at receiver. McCarthy is expecting big things from some of the younger players on the roster. Washington’s injury means that rookie Jalen Tolbert could begin the season as the Cowboys WR2.
“Yeah, I’m extremely comfortable [at wide receiver] and I think really it goes back to what we talked about earlier,” McCarthy noted during a July 26 media session. “There’s always a jump that you have to have with every team that you put together. So, there’s always going to be a void of experience where your youth has to step up and contribute, and I have great confidence in that. I have a lot of experience at it, and I think when you see a leader such as Dak, because it’s always the extra.
“It’s the workouts away from the offseason program, whether it’s in Miami or at his home. It’s the details and the extra reps and so forth because that’s just the climate that we work in now. And I think our players are definitely of the right mindset. These guys spend a tremendous amount of time together away from the facility.”
If the Cowboys decide to change course, there are plenty of available veteran receivers who could be intriguing for Dallas. Heavy.com’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo labeled Odell Beckham Jr., Cole Beasley and T.Y. Hilton as among the names to watch for the Cowboys.