IRVING, TEXAS—For the past three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton was a no show for the Cowboys OTA workouts. But today he was running routes, catching passes and denying reports that he asked the Cowboys to trade him.
"We never went to Jerry, first off and said we want to be traded, let me go," Crayton said. "We never once came forward with that at all, so whatever misconceptions you had, that's not the truth, nothing like that."
But Crayton was miffed enough about his uncertain role to skip out on nine of the ten optional workouts so far but since they're optional the coaches aren't holding it against him.
"He's a veteran and a pro," said Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman. "He's been around, he understands this is a business and that you can't let that affect you as you come on the field. He came out here today and he was as good as he has been so it hasn't affected him, and that's what I was looking for."
Crayton has been concerned about his role with the team since the group of receivers has become awfully crowded with the selection of Dez Bryant in the first round of the NFL Draft. Crayton's worry is that with a salary of two million dollars per year, he could be released at the end of training camp if the coaches deem Bryant ready for the NFL. Crayton doesn't face any retribution for missing practices since they are optional but had he been absent for Friday's mandatory mini camp, he would owe Jerry Jones a stiff fine. So to get ready for the mandatory workouts, Crayton returned to action today.
"You can't come into the mini camp, cold. You've got to get into the function and swing of things before you just jump into the ring," Crayton said.
If you're worried about Crayton's absence causing any kind of division amongst the players on the team, all you have to do is saunter over to Martellus Bennett's locker because he'll clear it up for you, as he usually does.
"Patrick who? That guy in the corner over there, Patrick Crayton?" joked Bennett. "I was this close to changing my number to 84, I was just waiting, had a couple of hours and he showed up today. We're just one big happy family that's what we are like Barney, I love you, you love me, ELE, everybody loves everybody," Bennett said with a big smile.
Crayton said the only teammate to give him grief about missing workouts was Roy Williams who pointed out to the media, he has beaten his 31 year old teammate in every competition they've had, including golf. "The old man? I mean he played back there with Tom Landry so he knows the drill. It's good to have him back and around us. He was full force in the meeting, he always makes the smart comments and we made one today so he's back."
And some players could care less if the media or even the fans shake a finger at Crayton for missing nine practices.
"I don't pay none of yall any attention," said Martellus Bennett. All y'all are ***holes. Not the fans, the media, well some of the fans are ***holes too," Bennett said with a chuckle. "They got some good fans that care too but you got a lot of ***hole fans too that don't understand really. Football is a business, so you gotta understand the business side. From Jerry Jones standpoint and the players standpoint, so it's a business
With some tickets at Cowboys Stadium costing $250 dollars a seat, I think the fans understand the business side just fine, Martellus.