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The Cowboys Are Benching the Wrong Receiver

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The Cowboys Are Benching the Wrong Receiver

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The amount of ink spilled on Patrick Crayton's complaints about the way his benching was handled this week borders on the obscene when one looks at what Crayton's actually done during his career. Sure, the Cowboys should have handled it more professionally but the whole thing winds up being more of a statement of the dysfunction in Double J's backyard than it is about showing disrespect for Crayton.

All of which is well and good for the Cowboys because it obscures the fact that they're benching the wrong guy. Miles Austin's monster game against the Chiefs came because he was in the lineup in place of Roy Williams, running the routes that Williams normally runs and doing a better job of it. Crayton didn't have a fantastic game against the Chiefs, but he did set up Tashard Choice's touchdown with a third-down catch.

By benching him, you're taking Austin away from the position that sprang him to a record game and putting Williams back into the lineup ahead of a receiver who has been more productive this season. That's a lot more disrespectful than not making it clear who gets the starting job, especially since the explanation has little to nothing to do with football.

If Williams had been drafted in the seventh round, like Crayton, or even in the third round, he'd be heading to the bench right now. He's not heading to the bench because Double J is desperate to justify spending so much treasure to bring him to the team last season. That's a rather childish, if not at all surprising, approach to take entering a stretch of games that will do so much to determine where the Cowboys go this season.

Decisions about who starts, finishes, plays and watches games are supposed to be made based on merit. Williams hasn't earned the playing time at the expense of either Austin or Crayton, but he'll keep getting it to avoid bruising anyone's ego. So much for accountability.

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