NFC East: Trey Wingo
In short, Crayton's worried that he won't be given an honest chance to beat out rookie Dez Bryant or veteran Roy Williams for playing time based on how much money (and attention) the organization has invested in those players. And by the way, Crayton's absolutely right. There's no question that he's a better receiver than Williams, but then, he's not guaranteed $9 million this season. The Cowboys could use Crayton as an extra body in training camp and then decide to dump him and his $2 million salary before the regular season.
So you can see why Crayton's in no hurry to participate in voluntary practices when he'd basically serve as an insurance policy for offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. As he told ESPN 103.3's "Ben and Skin Show" on Friday, Crayton's hoping the Cowboys will simply release him and allow him to sign with a team that has an obvious need at receiver. And that's what other teams around the league are waiting on as well. On Tuesday afternoon, I reached out to Crayton's agent, Fred Lyles, to see if he'd shed some light on the situation.
"This is like interviewing for a job, and the positions already being filled," said Lyles of Crayton's situation. "Dez is going to be on the team no matter how he performs. Roy's going to be on the team no matter how he performs. And it's the same thing with Miles [Austin]."
Lyles said that Crayton doesn't want his family to be in limbo in terms of where they'll be living this September. Honestly, I can see both sides of this issue. The Cowboys know that Crayton's a very reliable receiver who could help them in a pinch, so they don't want to give him up for nothing. Other teams look at the Cowboys' depth at receiver, and they don't feel the need to move a draft pick for him.
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com thinks that Crayton could hurt the club's chemistry if he remains on the roster while not receiving much playing time. I disagree with that assessment. Crayton fell under the spell of T.O. when he was with the team, but now that's not an issue. If Crayton's on the roster, I think he'll conduct himself in a professional manner. And given Williams' penchant for dropping balls and the inexperience of Bryant, I think the Cowboys would eventually get Crayton back in the rotation.
Now I'm curious to hear what you guys think. Are you tired of the Crayton saga? If I decided to write the definitive Crayton biography this offseason, would you wait in line at Barnes and Noble to buy it?
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
OK, I've returned from watching an hour of our SportsCenter special NFL schedule show with Trey Wingo at the helm. In checking some of the Web sites dedicated to covering NFL East teams, I came across Todd Archer's game-by-game schedule analysis of the Cowboys.
Here's how I would break it down for the Cowboys:
Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay -- Going up against a brand new coach and a below average starting quarterback. You could do a lot worse in terms of a road game. Just ask the Redskins. I have the Cowboys winning this game.
Sept. 20 New York Giants -- Lots of emotion tied up in the new stadium's first game. Jerry Jones will make sure to provide a nutty atmosphere -- and he won't have to go out of his way. I think the Cowboys take care of business to improve to 2-0.
Sept. 28 Carolina Panthers -- After an emotional win over the Giants, the Cowboys come back to earth with a loss on "Monday Night Football." If you're scoring at home, they're 2-1 now.
Oct. 4 at Denver -- Most of us thought this would be the first road game. It will be another opportunity to play against a first-time head coach. And DeMarcus Ware could feast on Kyle Orton. This could be a huge game for Tony Romo against an overmatched defense. 3-1
Oct. 11 at Kansas City -- Guess what? ANOTHER first-time head coach in Todd Haley, who loves coaching against his old team. This time, though, he doesn't have Larry Fitzgerald. Give me the Cowboys in a close one. 4-1
Oct. 18 BYE -- This is a little earlier than Wade Phillips wanted.
Oct. 25 Atlanta -- Cowboys welcome a playoff team from '08. I think Matt Ryan will face a much different type of pressure this season. Now, he's expected to perform like a stud quarterback. He might take his lumps in this one. Cowboys improve to 5-1.
Nov. 1 Seattle -- The Cowboys love seeing the Seahawks come to town. Matt Hasselbeck should be banged up at this point. Cowboys improve to 6-1. Dallas rejoices.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
I just spoke with NFL Live anchor Trey Wingo via phone and he said the show is hoping to go outdoors this afternoon (4 p.m. ET) to let viewers have a sense of what it's like to play football in the snow. Sunday's Patriots-Cardinals game in Foxboro is what inspired Friday's show in which former players Mark Schlereth and Marcellus Wiley will demonstrate the keys to performing in the snow.
The only problem is that it's not snowing in Bristol right now. I'm a little concerned about what role Wingo will play in this scenario. As a quarterback for the Baylor Phi Delt B2 team in 1985, he threw five interceptions in a narrow loss to the Sigma Chis.