After several months of riding Kevin Ogletree like a bronco at the Dallas Rodeo for the past several months, I feel the need to apologize to him. Ogletree was the arguably the primary reason why the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants on Wednesday night at MetLife Stadium and he deserves credit for it.
I absolutely blasted the Cowboys for letting Laurent Robinson and Jesse Holley walk in free agency this off-season, believing there was no other receiver on the roster that could do a quality job at the No. 3 spot. After the preseason emergence of Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris, I still wrote that Ogletree shouldn’t even have been on the roster, much less be right behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant on the depth chart. Now I take it all back.
Not only was Ogletree sure-handed on Wednesday night, but he was instinctive and he took the initiative to help Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo when he was in trouble without being instructed to do so. That is exactly what Romo needs and Ogletree provided it in primetime against the defending Super Bowl champs. So Kevin, I’m sorry.
I doubted Ogletree after he was handed the No. 3 receiver job on a silver platter the last two seasons and dropped it like most of the balls thrown his way during that time. However, he has apparently improved tremendously this off-season, and that’s much more commendable than just relying on talent. Ogletree has clearly put in the time and work to become the player we saw on Wednesday night and a player who does that deserves more respect that any other.
Now, I’m no believer in one-game wonders, so Ogletree needs to play well in a majority of the Cowboys’ games this year to maintain this respect and the level of popularity he has suddenly acquired. He doesn’t need to catch eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns every week to do that – Ogletree simply needs to be reliable on every passing down like he was against the Giants. If he continues to work hard and doesn’t let this little bit of success go to his head, Ogletree can be a star in Dallas.
Kevin, I’m sorry for doubting you. Now go out and show the world you’re the real deal.