Patrick Crayton should get to the OTAs

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
9:43
AM ET
The first week of the organized team activities are done with at Valley Ranch.

We assume everything went well with the Cowboys.

Well, except one thing: Patrick Crayton.

The Cowboys backup wide receiver wants a trade. He didn't want to talk about it with me two weeks ago when I saw him at DeSoto High School for a charity event, but his agent Fred Lyles said he wants out. He told Crayton to not attend the OTAs mainly because they're voluntary, and hope the Cowboys work a trade for him while he sits.

Coach Wade Phillips said he wants Crayton at Valley Ranch, not so much to learn the offense, he knows it well, but to build solidarity with his teammates, who need him.

Lyles said Crayton might return to workouts next week and will attend mandatory workouts in June. However, Crayton should be at the Ranch now.

When you talk to members of the organization, coaches, front office and scouts, they all say, Crayton is a valued player on the team.

Here's why: There is uncertanity at wide receiver.

Miles Austin, the No. 1 receiving threat, is prone to injuries and his Pro Bowl season of a year ago raises a question. Can he do it again? Phillips said Austin was hurt for the first four weeks of the 2009 season.

Dez Bryant, the first-round draft pick, who has created all this drama, (not his fault mind you), is unproven. Under the watchful eye of the media, four practices, he's looked great. Jason Garrett said Bryant has good hands, good body control but still needs work.

Kevin Ogletree is a talented young player with some lapses. The coaches are little worried about his knowledge of the playbook and during Monday's open OTA session, he ran a wrong route. Tony Romo yelled at Ogletree about it.

Roy Williams might be the highly-priced veteran receiver, who wants to help Bryant and any other young receiver, but he's coming off a 38 catch, 596-yard performance last season. Williams caught just two passes the last three weeks of the regular season and in the playoff loss at Minnesota, had only one pass thrown his way.

Crayton is the most consistent receiver for Romo, next to tight end Jason Witten, on this team.

The Cowboys don't want to give up on a backup receiver who averages 14.7 yards per catch during his career.

Now if Austin, Ogletree and Bryant are who the Cowboys think they are, talented players who perform on the field, then yes, Crayton should be worried about his status.

For now, Crayton just needs to relax and work out.
Calvin Watkins covers the Houston Rockets and the NBA for ESPN.com. He joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers as well as colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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