It is well established that the modulational instability enhances the probability of occurrence for extreme events in long crested wave fields. Recent studies, however, have shown that the coexistence of directional wave components can reduce the effects related to the modulational instability. Here, numerical simulations of the Euler equations are used to investigate whether the modulational instability may produce significant deviations from second-order statistical properties of surface gravity waves when short crestness (i.e., directionality) is accounted for. The case of a broad-banded directional wave field (i.e. wind sea) is investigated. The analysis is concentrated on the wave crest and trough distribution. For completeness a comparison with a unidirectional wave field is presented also. Results will show that the distributions based on second-order theory provide a good estimate for the simulated crest and trough height also at low probability levels.