I have to admit that I was extremely concerned all summer long about the depth at wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Then something completely unexpected and wonderful happened this preseason. Undrafted Kevin Ogletree arrived on the scene. He is a relatively no-name guy who signed as an undrafted free agent. He slowly and methodically worked his way up the depth chart throughout training camp and the preseason.
When he finally got his big chance to play with the starters in the San Francisco preseason game he exceeded the expectations of almost everyone. He beat man coverage on a regular basis and showed that he had earned the trust of Tony Romo. With every play he made in the game it became more and more apparent that the Cowboys had found a diamond in the rough.
Is he going to be the lead receiver a few years from now? Maybe, maybe not. But at least we are talking about the possibility of it happening. He runs great routes and gets excellent separation from defenders. On top of that he is capable of making tough catches in traffic. Don't discount the fact that he is on his second year off of ACL surgery. It usually takes guys two years to get back to pre-surgery form and it might be a case of the Cowboys finding Ogletree at the perfect moment in his recovery process.
We'll have to wait to find out how good he can be but I am sure he is an upgrade over Isaiah Stanback. I became convinced about Ogletree over the last week when the concern about the hamstring of Miles Austin became a hot issue. Where I would have usually been worried about what they would do without Austin in the past, my new response was...no problem, Ogletree can get it done.
I know it is premature to label this guy as the next great thing. But we do know Ogletree can play receiver and we know that Tony Romo has faith in the guy. The fact that Romo is willing to get him the ball speaks volumes about his ability as a receiver. Somehow there are guys on the field who rarely get a look from Romo and I know part of it is that Romo has to trust that a receiver is going to be in the right place.
Ogletree might not play a lot this season but I know that he can get it done if his services are required. I'm not convinced he won't leapfrog Miles Austin and/or Sam Hurd on the depth chart. He is bound to be called upon at some point because it is very unlikely the receivers will finish the season injury free. The track record of Hurd and Austin tells us that Ogletree will get his shot. I'm excited that we finally have a young receiver who looks like he has a chance to be a special player. The Cowboys may or may not have a true #1 receiver...time will tell. But the Cowboys do have five receivers who are all capable of making plays this season thanks to the addition of Kevin Ogletree.