WR Crayton: Not worried about release
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, who recently made a public request to be released, arrived at Valley Ranch on Tuesday with his head held high and no regrets about his absence during the first three weeks of organized team activities.
Crayton, 31, participated in team drills with the rest of the team Tuesday for the first time since the Cowboys traded up in the first round to draft receiver Dez Bryant.
Crayton, however, didn't feel the need to fight any more public battles with Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
Crayton said 10 days ago on ESPN 103.3's Ben and Skin Show that he felt like he was being used as "insurance" and would not be given a fair chance to compete for a significant role. He stands by those words and wants to move on.
"This is my thing right now: I'm not going to sit here and complain about things I can't control," said Crayton, who worked with the second team in three-receiver sets despite Bryant sitting out with a sore hamstring.
"If I go out there and give it my all and bust my tail and do what I'm capable of doing, I'll be here. If that's not the case when it comes down to it and the numbers get crunched and I'm not here, I don't know what to tell you. But you're going to get my all every day."
Crayton had always intended to participate in this weekend's mandatory minicamp. He said he decided to report for voluntary OTAs this week because he wanted to get a few days of work with his teammates before the minicamp.
He didn't rescind his request to be released, and Crayton said he can't be concerned about his roster status at the moment.
"Right now, I'm not worried about being released," Crayton said. "My goal right now is to stay here for minicamp, OTAs and get better, get back in here with my teammates, get back in my sanctuary."
However, Crayton does hope that Jones will grant his wish to discuss the situation in person.
The only conversation the owner and veteran receiver have had this offseason occurred just before Tuesday's workout. Jones asked Crayton, who had been working out at Michael Johnson's facility in McKinney, if he felt like he was in good shape. Crayton assured him he wouldn't brave this heat if he wasn't.
"If you're an employee of an employer, you've earned every right to be able talk to him," Crayton said. "Even the president's people talk to him. So I mean, you've always earned the right to talk to your employer.
"We'll see. If it comes, it comes."
Crayton had 37 catches for 622 yards and five touchdowns last season, his sixth in the NFL -- all with the Cowboys. He was also the team's primary punt returner, averaging 12.1 yards per return with two TDs.
Crayton said he weighed in at 205 pounds, about 10 pounds lighter than last summer.
"He's been working out and training, so he's been doing everything he's supposed to do," receivers coach Ray Sherman said. "Yeah, he's in shape, he's lighter. ... He's a smart guy, he's not going to make very many mistakes at all. He was pretty good today."
Coach Wade Phillips said it was good to have Crayton back on the field.
"It's voluntary. I'm glad he volunteered to come back," Phillips said. "He worked hard and did some good things. That's what we expect, and I know that's what he expects of himself. He going to give you everything he's got when he's out there for practice or a game."