Trade rumors surrounding Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton have heated up once again. ESPN is reporting that even if the Cowboys don’t trade him by Saturday, there is a solid chance they will simply release him.
To me, cutting Crayton would be the team’s biggest blunder of the season. Here are my top five reasons the ‘Boys need to keep Crayton:
1. The odds of Bryant, Roy Williams, and Miles Austin all staying healthy throughout the season are slim.
That trio is nice, but let’s not forget the team would be one injury away from having Kevin Ogletree on the field quite often. Ogletree has shown a lot of promise, but he’s not ready to be a No. 3 receiver just yet.
An injury would also likely force the Cowboys to use more two-tight end sets, something they might be hesitant to do since they may only keep two tight ends.
2. Bryant isn’t ready to fully contribute just yet.
I know expectations are through the roof for this kid, but let’s remember he hasn’t played football competitively for a year. He needs to be phased into the offense.
3. The Cowboys are ready to win in 2010.
Crayton’s $2 million salary is steep for a potential No. 4 receiver, but now isn’t the time to hoard money. I suppose it is easier for me to say that because it isn’t my money, but hey, what can $2 million really buy you these days? Probably only like five really nice houses. I’m more of a six-house kind of guy.
In all seriousness, the Cowboys are a better team this year with Crayton, so they should keep him. They aren’t rebuilding. Plain and simple.
4. Crayton’s been the most reliable wide receiver over the past few years.
Jason Witten has been the most consistent pass-catcher, but Crayton has been extremely clutch on third downs and in the fourth quarter. I do believe Miles Austin is the real deal and Dez Bryant appears to be so as well, but who really knows? There’s a right time to take a chance and a wrong one. Taking a chance by releasing Crayton right now is about the worst time.
5. He’s an insurance policy at punt returner.
Crayton’s not spectacular and I know I’ve criticized him in the past, but he’s consistent and reliable when back deep for punts. He’s going to lose this job whether it is to Akwasi Owusu-Ansah or Dez Bryant, but if Bryant acquires a major role on offense and AOA struggles at all, Crayton needs to be there.