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Cowboys EXCLUSIVE: New WR James Washington Explains Walking Boot and Missed OTA Practice

"I really just went home one night after a workout and it didn't feel quite right'' - Washington to CowboysSI.com

FRISCO - In an exclusive visit with CowboysSI.com, new Dallas Cowboys wideout James Washington explained his absence from the Wednesday OTAs workout here inside The Star.

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"I really just went home one night after working out and it didn't feel quite right,'' the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver told us, while wearing a walking boot on his left foot and ankle. "It's nothing serious - more precautionary. I'm sure I'll be back next week.''

Washington declined to reveal the nature of the injury, but a team source tells CowboysSI.com that it's nothing more than a case of tendinitis.

This one-year deal for Washington, who gets to return to his home state of Texas with a chance to create opportunities that never quite unfolded in Pittsburgh, can bring a big payoff once he's right.

But on Wednesday? As a result of Washington being in a walking boot, and rookie Jalen Tolbert on the sideline with trainers, and Michael Gallup rehabbing his knee with a plan to play in the fall, CeeDee Lamb was ... busy.

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"I feel we have a great group,'' Lamb, who came to Dallas in 2020 and now has a Pro Bowl on his resume, told us. "I'm helping the young guys even though I'm a young guy myself.''

Washington also has some experience in the NFL, of course. But all totaled together, his four-year run with the Steelers after having been a second-round pick out of Oklahoma State never quite impressed.

In his Pittsburgh career, Washington had 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He certainly comes with the Dez Bryant Seal of Approval; Bryant, a fellow Texan and OSU product, actually called this signing before it happened.

“James Washington to the Dallas Cowboys just know you heard it first right here,” Bryant tweeted on Monday.

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Washington is 5-11, so physically it seems he could help in the slot. But last year, during his snaps as basically the Steelers’ No. 4 guy, he only played inside about a third of the time.

There is talk here inside The Star about Lamb becoming a dominant force if he gets the primary slot snaps. That can work, because with Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. no longer on the roster, and with newly re-signed Gallup out, the Cowboys might need Washington to be their No. 2 guy for a time.

Washington’s price tag will be far easier to swallow than Cooper’s ($20 mil APY) or Wilson's ($7 mil APY), and alongside Lamb and rehabbing/re-signing Gallup, Dallas could use the help.

At just 25, and with a Biletnikoff Award on his mantle, there is still room for growth. And both Washington and the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys need that growth ...

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Especially after a Wednesday here inside The Star during which - no disrespect - the other wideouts working with the first team were Simi Fehoko, Noah Brown and T.J. Vasher, none of whom have NFL credentials, at least not yet.

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