But Ogletree recognizes he has to get better to keep the role. He got a strong dose of reality last season, when he lost the job to Laurent Robinson after struggling early in the season and watched the post-camp addition flourish in the role before signing a rich contact with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency.
“The best guys are going to be in there,” Ogletree said. “It doesn’t matter where they come from or how they got there or when they got there. The key is consistency and being able to be trusted to be put in those roles.”
Ogletree obviously has been listening to Jason Garrett.
“Really what you’re looking for is consistency,” Garrett said. “Day in and day out and play in and play out being the guy that you can count on. He’s done a real nice job growing in that area and he just has to continue taking advantage of the opportunities that he gets and prove to us that he’s capable of being that third receiver.”
There isn’t any question that Ogletree, the only receiver in the battle for the No. 3 role with any NFL statistics, has talent. He has 4.36 speed, is quick out of his breaks and is elusive in the open field.
But that hasn’t translated into anything more than occasional flashes during his three seasons with the Cowboys, and there wasn’t a market for Ogletree when he hit the free-agency market before agreeing to a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Cowboys.
Focus has been an issue for Ogletree, who has 25 catches for 294 yards in his career. He admitted after the Sept. 26 win over the Redskins that quarterback Tony Romo called him “stupid” after he stopped on a route in the red zone, and Robinson moved ahead of Ogletree on the depth chart the next week.
Cowboys coaches and front office officials have raved about Ogletree’s dedication this offseason. He sounds like a guy who realizes that it’s time to get down to business.
“It’s an honor to come out here every day,” Ogletree said. “It’s a privilege, it’s a pleasure. I know if I come out here every day and stay focused, it gives me the best chance to have a big role on this team.”