Remember how excited we all were after the season opening game against the Giants? Kevin Ogletree had been a major contributor to a monumental Cowboy win over their division rivals – 8 catches, 114 yards, and 2 touchdowns. All the concern over losing Laurent Robinson melted away after that game. Our patience with the under performing wide out had finally paid off and just in time. Well, not so fast.
After the Cowboys’ anemic performance on Sunday in Carolina, that game by Ogletree appears more and more to have been an aberration – a statistical outlier. Since the opener, Ogletree has logged the following stat lines:
Seattle – 1 reception, 26 yards, 0 TDs
Tampa Bay – 5 receptions, 57 yards, 0 TDs
Chicago – 3 receptions, 24 yards, 0 TDs
Baltimore – 0 receptions, 0 yards, 0 TDs
Carolina – 4 receptions, 24 yards, 0 TDs
He’s been a non-factor and is not showing any improvement. What’s worse is that he continues to make mistakes at key points in the game. In the opening drive for the Cowboys in Sunday’s game, he had what should have been an easy catch just beyond the first down marker, but bobbled the ball before making the catch and ended up a yard short forcing a Cowboys punt. At another point midway through the 3rd quarter, he dropped another throw hitting him directly in the numbers. He came back to make the catch on the essentially the same route a few plays later and at that point was 4 receptions on 5 targets, but he wasn’t heard from again. Except, with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game when Romo targeted him one more time expecting him to do a back shoulder throw and Ogletree was running down the sideline. This time the ball fell harmlessly to the earth and luckily wasn’t intercepted and run back for a touchdown like the Bears game, but clearly #85 is still struggling to run the right routes. The coaches sat him down at that point and replaced him with Andre Holmes later saying that he had a finger injury, but most understand that their patience has just run thin.
Both Miles Austin and Dez Bryant have had miscues too – Miles had a bad fumble in the Carolina game setting up one scoring drive for the Panthers and Dez once again dropped a touchdown pass that should have been caught. But, they seem to find ways to come back each time and make up for their mistakes. But, not Ogletree.
The sad fact of the matter is the Cowboys made a mistake thinking that their quality 3rd receiver was on this roster. He might be, but it isn’t Kevin Ogletree. Maybe it is time to give Cole Beasley a shot and start using him as a possession receiver out of the slot. Time to do something. Clearly, what we’re doing isn’t working.
Here come the Giants fresh off another miraculous 4th quarter win. They are a good football team but they are also without a doubt the luckiest team in the NFL. They seem to get every possible break their way. But, they don’t tend to need that luck at Cowboys Stadium where they have never lost in 3 seasons. With pretty anemic efforts by the Cowboys the last 3 weeks and a rash of key defensive injuries, this game is going to be an uphill climb to say the least. But, the Cowboys will rise to the occasion – we’ll see the best they have to give. The only question is if it will be enough. Go Cowboys!