Key word for Ogletree: Consistency
So it should come as no surprise that the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver refused to address how his own season has unfolded heading into the FOX America’s Game of the Week rematch (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday).
“It’s not going to be anything here about me or how good or bad I’ve done since New York,” Ogletree told FOXSports.com. “We’re all trying to get better as a team and all for the right reasons.”
If he could transfer the same consistency when addressing the media onto the field, there would be a lot more pleasantries to talk about.
After catching eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns in that 24-17 season-opening victory over New York, Ogletree appeared on track to become one of quarterback Tony Romo’s favorite targets as a third wideout alongside starters Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Ogletree, who stuck with the Cowboys in 2009 as an undrafted rookie from the University of Virginia, had worked diligently to claim that spot in the offseason when Laurent Robinson left for Jacksonville in free agency.
New York defensive coordinator Perry Fewell praised Ogletree’s performance when speaking this week to Giants media.
“He did a good job against us,” said Fewell, whose unit was unable to stop quick Romo passes to Ogletree that neutralized New York’s aggressive pass rush. “I think that they had a good plan and they executed better than we played.”
Ogletree, though, has subsequently experienced the same kind of rollercoaster year as the Cowboys (3-3).
In victories over Tampa Bay and Carolina, Ogletree did make a difference with nine receptions for 84 yards. He was almost invisible in the Cowboys’ three other games with a total of four catches.
Asked to evaluate his team’s season, Ogletree said, “We’re right at par, which is not what we wanted. But we do have a beautiful opportunity.”
Ogletree still has Romo’s support, but that could change if he doesn’t avoid penalties or take advantage of the limited chances that come his way to make plays. The Cowboys also have promising young receivers like Dwayne Harris and Andre Holmes vying for playing time that could potentially come at Ogletree’s expense.
“Kevin has done a really good job,” Romo said after Thursday’s practice at Cowboys headquarters. “A lot of it is dictated off coverage and what teams are playing. At the same time, he’s had a couple of opportunities.
“He knows he’s playing well. He just needs to go get the ball every once in a blue moon. He’s worked on that very hard. It’s shown up this year. That’s why he had a successful first game. I look for him to have a good rest of the year.”
That would be in Ogletree’s best interest. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2013.