Crayton Keeping Things in Perspective

Every media outlet in Dallas is ready to name Patrick Crayton as the No. 3 wide receiver for the Cowboys.

After all, Patrick Crayton led all Dallas receivers in the Cowboys' 18-10 preseason win at Seattle Monday night. He had five receptions for 82 yards. His 43-yard reception by itself would have given him more yards than any other Dallas receiver.

But at Wednesday's press conference, Bill Parcells almost made it sound like Crayton was in danger of not making the team.

Rest assured, he will make the team. "The problem was, the other night, when (Ahmad) Merritt got hurt, we didn't have another 'Z' (receiver)," Parcells said. "(Terrance) Copper, (Quincy) Morgan and (Tom) Crowder -- they're all really split ends. So I said let's just play Crayton, give him a good dose."

On the surface, it appeared Crayton made the most of the opportunity.

The highlight of his night was when he caught a pass as he was coming across the middle on a slant route and curling up the left sideline en route to a 43-yard gain. Great play, right?

"I really wish he was more aggressive after the catch," Parcells said. "He's just a little too casual with the ball after he makes the catch."

Parcells then softened his stance, to the point that he began to resemble the coach who last week said he was "rooting for" Crayton -- who two years ago was a college quarterback -- to succeed.

"He's smart, and he's working hard," Parcells said. "He's learning what he has to do to be a professional football player. I'm very pleased with him."

Crayton said he understood Parcells' desire for more yards after the catch, but didn't necessarily think it came down to aggressiveness. Instead, Crayton said his long run ended where it did because he made the wrong cut.

"I should have tried to make the cut inside," Crayton said. "I was trying to set up the corner, and it didn't work."

During the week leading up to the Seattle game, Parcells all but named Crayton as his No. 3 receiver, behind veterans Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. Crayton takes pride in his place on the pecking order, but said it's too early to celebrate leapfrogging over Quincy Morgan among the Dallas receivers.

"That's nice to hear, but there's still two preseason games," he said. "Let's wait until we get to San Diego (for the season opener)."

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