Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy Hints at Potential Reunion with Released WR

Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a play.

The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for a postseason run, and one recently released wide receiver could reunite with Dallas in the future.

The Cowboys released veteran WR James Washington on January 4th, bringing an end to a disappointing stint in Arlington, Texas. A foot injury unfortunately sidelined Washington, and then Dallas found a new offensive weapon in T.Y. Hilton.

However, Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy is “hopeful” of a reunion with Washington at some point in the future. According to Dallas Morning News reporter Calvin Watkins, the Cowboys HC left things open when speaking to the media on January 4.

“Mike McCarthy on the release of James Washington,” Watkins Tweeted. “Said injures and his inability to play special teams led to this. ‘He’s a good man. Hopefully our paths will cross again.'”

Maximizing the value of every roster spot is vital at this stage in the season, which is why players like WR KaVontae Turpin are still with the team over someone like Washington. Washington is a solid depth option, but Turpin brings important value on special teams.

That being said, Cowboys fans could see Washington in Dallas gear again based on McCarthy’s comments. It’s just likely won’t be in 2022.

Washington’s Time in Dallas

When Dallas added Washington in free agency in the spring of 2022, it seemed like a shrewd move. The team was setting up for CeeDee Lamb to be the No. 1 receiver, and a reliable proven pass-catcher like Washington made sense.

He had (and arguably still has) upside at 26 years old, thanks to a solid resume from his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers and still being in his athletic prime as he approaches his late 20s. Washington joined the Steelers as a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Pro Football Reference shows that the receiver totaled 1629 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns over four years in Pittsburgh, with his 735-yard campaign in 2019 being his most impressive year as a pro.

Washington’s foot injury in late summer of 2022 completely derailed his season, but he did end up taking the field for the Cowboys. He made his only two appearances in the games against the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He played 15 offensive snaps and caught zero passes.

Cowboys Prepping for Bigger Role for Hilton

While Washington hits the waiver wire, Dallas is moving forward with T.Y. Hilton after the veteran receiver’s impressive first few games with the Cowboys. Hilton was an emergency addition after the Odell Beckham Jr. saga, but has turned into an important part of the offense already.

McCarthy said as much when discussing the preparations for the Washington Commanders. According to Sports Illustrated, the Cowboys HC thinks it could be time to rev up Hilton’s usage.

“I could see him getting even more [snaps] this week,” McCarthy said.

Hilton made a huge 52-yard catch against the Philadelphia Eagles, playing just 12 snaps. Then, he played 22 snaps against the Tennessee Titans on December 29, catching four of five targets for 50 yards.

Hilton appears to be exactly what Dallas’ offense needs and McCarthy’s comments allude to a much bigger role as the postseason approaches.

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