(Photo/Sharon Ellman)

Cowboys taking patient approach with third receiver spot

If the season were to start tomorrow, Kevin Ogletree would be the Cowboys number three receiver. Of course, if the season started tomorrow, the Cowboys would be concerned about a lot more than the third receiver spot. Still, most are of the belief that Ogletree will still be slotted in at the three slot when the season begins. If he is, he will be a question mark.

Ogletree’s hold on his current position probably isn’t as strong as most people think. Before the season begins, every team in football will have to cut forty some odd players and it’s a good bet that there will be some veteran receivers in that group. Right now, Ogletree is getting a try-out. If he makes the most of it, he’ll have his spot. But, if Kevin has a bad camp, they’ll be scouring the waiver wire for a veteran that can fill the role.

As far as pass catchers, the Cowboys are as good as anyone in the league. Dez and Miles might be the most explosive receiver combo in football. And, obviously, they have a pretty decent tight end too. So, it’s not like they need a dynamic player maker for their third receiver. I’ll take a savvy vet that can find holes and block. In fact, I’d almost value blocking over anything else. In this offense, whoever is playing that position, will be called upon to block often on screens and downfield after the catch.

Even if Ogletree wins the job, the Cowboys should probably add a veteran to round out the group. For one, a veteran provides depth. But, more than that, this is still a very young group and they could use a guiding presence. That’s not a knock on Miles Austin. I’m sure he’s handling the role of elder quite well, but the more knowledge the better. Not to mention, it hedges the Cowboys’ bet on Ogletree.

A dark horse for the job is sixth round pick, Dwayne Harris. At East Carolina last year, Harris caught over a hundred balls for 1,123 yards and ten touchdowns. That earned him Conference USA MVP honors. The knock on Harris is mostly speed. He ran a 4.53 40 at the combine, which is pedestrian for an NFL receiver. However, the 40 is about the most overrated thing ever — just ask Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, and Michael Irvin — so that’s no reason to think he won’t develop into a good player. Still, Harris has much to learn before the Cowboys could ever consider him for a significant role in the offense.

Worth mentioning is Lyle Leong — mostly because he played for Tech. The former Red Raider might not have the physique to stay healthy in the NFL, but he’s a terrific athlete. A high-jump champion in high school, Leong has a knack for grabbing jump balls. However, the sure-handed receiver is a long way from being ready to play in the NFL. In reality, he is probably a prime practice squad candidate.

What are your thoughts? Are the Cowboys making a mistake by going with Ogletree? Is Jerry senile?

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Tags: Austin Miles Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Dwayne Harris Kevin Ogletree Lyle Leong

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