To Want Or To Need?

Illinois by way of San Antonio who has been catching everything thrown his way this summer until the first pass of the game from Romo. Splat. 

After that, it was Crayton and Terrance Copper, followed by Jamaica Rector and J.R. Tolver, along with Skyler Green and Miles Austin. Then Ward, who didn't even play. Quick math tells me that, without Owens, and if you eliminate Glenn and Crayton from the equation, the remaining six wide receivers on the roster have a grand total of 8 NFL catches - all belonging to Copper. 

Get outta town. 

Not only do the Cowboys need Crayton physically, just from a numbers standpoint, by golly they need his talent. He was starting to look like his old self from last year before he suffered the ankle injury. There was that day in training camp last week when Parcells barked about how "hot" Crayton was in that one practice. 

And he was hot Saturday night. Working out of the slot on second-and-six from the Seattle nine, Crayton ran a nice post route, catching Romo's bullet in traffic for what turned out to be the game's only touchdown. He would catch three more, one a 33-yard over-the-shoulder, and another short one he turned the corner for a nice run after the catch. 

That's the Crayton the Cowboys needed the final month of the season last year, and while he made a valiant effort to get back on the field a little more than a month after having a couple of bone spurs removed from his fractured ankle, he never was the same. 

And with so much inexperience dotting the position this year, that's the Crayton the Cowboys desperately need this year. 

But will they have him? 

Depending on Mother Nature's mood overnight, if Parcells was saying last week the Cowboys were in the market for a wide receiver after looking at his team that day Owens and Glenn were out, then they really would be in the receiver market if Crayton has suffered anything more than a short-term injury. 

There is no way they can fly into Jacksonville for the Sept. 10 opener a month away with Owens, Glenn and whatever three of that other half-dozen. That won't cut it. No one would be sleeping well. 

Understand the Cowboys weren't in a hurry to cut a deal. Because if you are dealing a position of strength now, an injury or two down the line might have that very same position one of need in two weeks. Got to be careful there. 

So the next couple of days will be very critical in the Cowboys' planning for 2006. A position of apparent want could turn into a position of desperate need if Crayton is out for any length of time. 

A week ago, when Harry Carson's son presented him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, he pointed out how his father would always ask him growing up, "Is this a want or is this a need," and he explained how he learned to distinguish between the two at a young age. 

The Cowboys might be learning the same if Crayton isn't all right.                                                                     

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