Crayton calls out Cowboys coaches

IRVING, Texas -- Patrick Crayton is willing to say what the Dallas Cowboys coaches won't: He's been replaced in the starting lineup by Miles Austin.

Crayton just wishes somebody would have told him that. He figured it out Monday, when Austin worked opposite Roy Williams in two-wide receiver sets.

Austin continued to get reps with the starters during Wednesday's practice, but none of the coaches have explained the situation to Crayton.

"I would have loved it," Crayton said of an explanation from head coach Wade Phillips or offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. "It would have been real stand-up. That's not what happened. Oh, well."

Crayton, who dealt with a similar demotion after the Cowboys traded for Roy Williams in the middle of last season, isn't pouting about becoming a No. 3 receiver again. He considers his role "to help in whatever way possible." He just feels that, as a six-year veteran, he deserves an explanation.

"That way you're not in the dark about why the change is made," Crayton said.

It's not as if Crayton didn't see it coming. He knew when Wade Phillips told the media last Monday that Miles Austin would play "fifty-something" snaps per game on the heels of his franchise-record 250-yard performance. But Crayton wonders how much his admittedly poor performance in Kansas City affected the decision.

Based on production, one could make the case that Austin (15 catches, 331 yards, three touchdowns) and Crayton (15 catches, 243 yards, one touchdown) should be the starters with Williams (11 catches, 214 yards, one touchdown) relegated to the third receiver role. But, considering Williams' arrival in a blockbuster trade and $9 million per year salary, Crayton knew that wasn't a realistic scenario.

"When you give up a first and third and a sixth and you pay a guy that much," Crayton said, "he's gotta play."

That information didn't come from a coach or front office member. Crayton just connected the dots, which is what he has to do in lieu of communication at Valley Ranch.