IRVING, Texas — Patrick Crayton wanted out the minute the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant. He finally got his wish Friday, and it might've been worth the wait.
Crayton, who played at Northwestern Oklahoma State, was dealt to the San Diego Chargers, where he'll be a bigger part of the offense than he would've been in Dallas and he will still be playing for a contender. The change in locales isn't bad either, although he's leaving the area where he grew up.
Dallas received only future considerations, likely a late-round draft pick. The club figured it was better than cutting him and getting nothing, plus it puts him in the other conference.
The Cowboys kept Crayton all summer mainly because there was no incentive to give in to his trade request. But as club officials discussed their 53-man roster, they apparently felt they couldn't justify keeping someone with his high salary ($2 million) in a reduced role (fourth receiver, backup punt returner).
“You have to take everything into consideration — economics, how he fits with the team, the overall body of work — and you make a decision based on that,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. “We really waited to evaluate all our receivers. … We feel very comfortable with our depth.”
They also feel comfortable with Bryant's health. The former Oklahoma State star missed the entire preseason with a high ankle sprain, but is ready for the opener at Washington a week from Sunday. Bryant is expected to take over the roles Crayton had last season — No. 3 receiver and punt returner.