Sunday, May 23, 2010

Five Reasons the Dallas Cowboys Will Keep WR Patrick Crayton

by Daniel Wolf

Ever since the Dallas Cowboys drafted wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, the writing was instantly on the wall for backup Patrick Crayton.

Or is it?

Crayton's name has been mentioned in many trade rumors, especially with the Cleveland Browns, who are rumored to be still searching for a veteran receiver to mentor their young receiver group.

Owner Jerry Jones has said that he will not trade anyone, but you can never believe want an NFL executive says when it comes to anything regarding the roster nowadays.

The following are five reasons that I believe will keep Crayton wearing the stars on his helmet for the 2010 season.

(1) Roy Williams' Performance is Not Certain

Ever since Williams came to the Cowboys (for way too much in what the Cowboys had to give up to get him) he has been less than spectacular.

Even though Williams and Miles Austin will most likely start off 2010 as the starters, Bryant may push Williams out of the starter role, which is all bad for Williams' future and he could become expendable.

In this possible scenario, Crayton's value is increased since he is more reliable than Williams as a slot receiver.

(2) Crayton is a Solid Slot Receiver

Crayton is one of the more effective slot receivers in the NFL and he even managed to amass more receiving yards than Williams and one less catch than Williams too.

When third down comes around, quarterback Tony Romo knows he can count on Crayton's sure hands to move the chains.

(3) Crayton is Affordable to Keep on the Roster

Prior to the 2008 season, Crayton signed a four-year deal worth up to $14 million with $6 million guaranteed.

At the halfway point in his contract, Crayton does not break the bank, even though there is no salary cap in 2010, but he is not getting paid top dollar so it makes sense to keep him around since players will and do get injured during the long NFL season.

(4) Crayton is Under Contract

Speaking of contract, Crayton is still under one, and that means the Cowboys do not have to do anything at all.

If Crayton wants to hold out, then he will only hurt his own future stock since he is already 31 years old and the job offers will become less and less as he gets older.

(5) Crayton Has Too Much Value as a Punt Returner Too

Obviously, running back Felix Jones could return punts since he already returns kicks, but rumors are saying that Jones may actually be on the top of the running back depth chart for 2010 and if this is the case, his other duties will lessen.

This makes Crayton valuable since he returned two punts for touchdowns in 2009 and the Cowboys need that playmaking talent to help position the offense with good field position and give them an edge in the return game, since he is a threat to take one to the house.

Final Thoughts

Crayton's versatility and ability to be very effective from the slot position makes in a very valuable commodity to the Cowboys.

Plus, if a team like the Browns really wanted Crayton, then they would have already made an offer for the veteran.

There is also the issue that Jerry Jones may want too much for Caryton which is understandable.

I think Crayton stays, but his future beyond 2010 all lies on the performance of Williams this year.

If Williams tanks, he goes and Crayton stays, but if Williams has a solid campaign then vice-versa.