James Washington just made Pat Terrell’s day. Terrell, who plays safety for the Rams, just like Washington used to, figures he’s about ready to walk down the same path Washington took in 1990 when the Rams decided he wasn’t one of their best 37 players under Plan B free agency.
Washington moved on to sign with Dallas, and in Super Bowl XXVIII he made a strong pitch for MVP consideration after returning a fumble for a touchdown and intercepting a pass to set up another score. “James played lights out,” Cowboy guard Nate Newton said. “He was in the running for MVP until Emmitt Smith turned up his load a little bit.”
The first person to greet Washington as he emerged from the Cowboys’ locker room was Terrell. “It makes me happy and keeps me positive to see what can happen to somebody who doesn’t get treated fairly,” said Terrell, who becomes an unrestricted free agent as of Feb. 18. “Am I bitter? Yes, I am. I hear James wants to come back to L.A.; I wouldn’t mind at all taking his spot in Dallas.”
Washington made the play of the game when his 46-yard fumble return for a touchdown turned the game toward the Cowboys. Washington, who has donated money and time to a homeless shelter in South-Central Los Angeles, was angry with the Cowboys when he lost his starting job at the beginning of the season to rookie Darrin Smith. But Sunday he was a surprise starter.
“Just let me play, and I can make things happen,” Washington explained. They did and he did.