Crayton says he's done complaining, starts practicing with Cowboys

IRVING, Texas -- Patrick Crayton was back on the field catching passes for the Dallas Cowboys, not worrying if that's where he will be when the season begins.

Crayton had skipped the first three weeks of voluntary offseason workouts before participating Tuesday. The wide receiver indicated during a radio interview while away that he wanted to be released, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made it clear it's not in the team's immediate plans.

"This is my thing. I'm not going to complain about things I can't control," Crayton said after practice. "If I go out there and give it my all, bust my tail and do what I'm capable of doing, I'll be here."

Crayton's role suddenly became minimized when the Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in the first round in April. Bryant likely will be among the Cowboys' top three receivers with Roy Williams and Miles Austin, and the rookie also could return punts.

Crayton had 37 catches for 622 yards and five touchdowns last season, his sixth in the NFL -- all with the Cowboys. He also was the team's primary punt returner.

Crayton said neither he nor his agent asked Jones to be traded or demanded to "let me go. We never once came forward with that at all."

Asked if he expected to still be with the team next season, Crayton said he didn't know. He is under contract for about $2 million in 2010.

"Man, we're in minicamp, no more questions about training camp or the future," he said. "I can't predict it, neither can you guys. Let's not even talk about it."

When Crayton got on the field Tuesday, he said Jones spoke to him for a "real quick minute" and asked if he felt in shape. The receiver responded that he was and said afterward that he had no problems with conditioning despite the heat.

"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."

Crayton said he weighed in at 205 pounds, about 10 pounds lighter than last summer.

Crayton hadn't been expected back with the Cowboys until the mandatory minicamp this weekend. But he came back for the first of three voluntary workouts before the minicamp starts Friday.

"I'm always glad to be back with my teammates, back on this field," Crayton said. "It's like your sanctuary, so it was a great feeling today to just get back out there, be able to run some routes, and put the jersey back on and the helmet on."

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's going to give you everything he's got when he's out there for practice or a game."

Bryant left Tuesday's workout early because of hamstring tightness. Neither he nor Sherman expressed any concern about the problem, and Bryant said he planned to practice Wednesday.

"I started to work out and let (the trainer) know it was tight. He didn't want to take any chances," Bryant said. "It's not frustrating at all. I'm just following orders."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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