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Friday, May 28, 2010
Patrick Crayton needs to fight on the field

By Calvin Watkins

We understand that Patrick Crayton wants to make sure he's going to get a fair shake for one of the Cowboys' wide receiver spots.

Crayton has some trust issues with the organization right now. We get it.

Crayton is one of the more trusted veterans on this team and believes he should be treated better. We get it.

But this approach of staying away from organized team activities to force a trade isn't right.

Patrick Crayton
If wide receiver Patrick Crayton competes for his job on the practice field, he might find himself celebrating in the end zone for the Cowboys next season.
In 2007, when Terry Glenn battled knee injuries, Crayton emerged as a solid No. 2 with 50 catches for 697 yards and seven touchdowns, all career-highs.

For his efforts, Crayton was given a five-year contract extension with a $6 million signing bonus. The kid from DeSoto blew up. We get it.

In 2008, Crayton played the good soldier when the team made a deal for Roy Williams at the trade deadline. Crayton was moved back to No. 3 on the depth chart and all he did was average 14.1 yards per catch and four touchdowns.

Last season, with Terrell Owens gone, Crayton moved back into the starting lineup alongside Williams. However, when Miles Austin had that breakout game in Kansas City, Crayton was moved back to the bench.

The way the team handled it was a poor. Someone should have told Crayton he was getting benched. The team shouldn't have let Crayton find out elsewhere that a change was coming. He had a legit complaint. We get it.

Now the drafting of Dez Bryant has forced Crayton's hand again. The potential of Kevin Ogletree also has pushed Crayton to the edge of the stage.

He wants out. We get it.

But he should be the good soldier. Why?

There are examples on his own team of players who didn't ask out. When the Cowboys traded for Williams, Owens embraced the challenge and didn't complain.

In 2008, when the Cowboys drafted two running backs, starter Marion Barber didn't complain, he just kept on going.

After the Cowboys drafted Bryant, Williams didn't ask for a trade or complain. Instead, Williams said it was good for business and wanted to help the rookie anyway he can.

Doug Free is the projected starter at left tackle. When the team traded for Alex Barron, Free welcomed the challenge.

We're not saying Crayton shouldn't be upset. He should be. We get it.

But staying away from Valley Ranch and working out in McKinney isn't going to make the Cowboys trade Crayton any faster. In fact, it pushes the team to keep him even more.

Now if Ogletree beats out Crayton in training camp, then the Cowboys could release Crayton. Then he would be mad. We get it.

For now, Crayton should compete for the job. Fight for your right to remain on the roster. That's the best move.