Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about unhappy receiver Patrick Crayton's recent critical comments. Crayton was upset when the Cowboys drafted receiver Dez Bryant with their No. 1 pick, and he recently asked to be released immediately.
That, of course, makes no sense for the Cowboys, who are paying Crayton $2 million a year. Although Crayton undoubtedly is headed for a lesser role -- or perhaps even a release before the regular season -- as long as the Cowboys continue to fulfill their part of his contract, he has to do the same thing. Plus there is little doubt that Crayton is insurance in case of an injury to another receiver.
The Cowboys worked out at Cowboys Stadium today and Jones talked with the media for almost a half hour. When asked about Crayton's comments that the team was messing with his life and that the Cowboys should trade him or release him because it would be the best thing for his family, you could tell Jones was not happy.
At first, he said he would not comment. And then he talked for the next 95 seconds, which is a very long no comment.
"I don’t have anything to comment on that at all," Jones said. "I know how meaningful the NFL is. I know how meaningful it is to the people that are lucky enough to get to participate in it. And no one respects the benefits of playing in the nfl any more than I do, and no one appreciates it any more. It is a privilege and an honor to get to play in the NFL.
"But I wouldn't specifically address to any player, any player, their individual perspective on how it impacts them. Patrick has done everything that we could have ever asked him to do and has become a very, very productive player in the NFL as a free agent, which in and of itself is very impressive,
"And that’s about all I would say about it. But I wouldn’t get into bantering as to what it means. The business and the strategies involved relative to your team, putting the players on the field for your team, it’s all about putting the right players out here and the ones that complement each other the best."
Jones answered all follow-up questions and ended up speaking nearly four minutes after saying he had no comment. But that's one of his asset. Even when he doesn't answer questions, Jones answers them.
The bottom line from Jones' statement is that all players who get to play in the NFL are fortunate. They earn a lot of money but sometimes are put into difficult situations. It's all part of being a professional. Sometimes the team has to protect itself and inconvenience athletes, but that's part of the business. That is evident to everyone when they sign a contract.
Crayton not attending the current workouts is not hurting the team. And it is his right to not be there because they are voluntary. The Cowboys have a minicamp in mid-June and there is a requirement to attend. Jones said he expects to see Crayton at that minicamp.
-- Jan Hubbard