- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- So much for the concern about whether Kevin Ogletree can fill Laurent Robinson’s shoes as the Cowboys’ third receiver.
Ogletree will spend the next week and a half hearing how great he is after going off for a career night in Wednesday’s win over the Giants.
He’s a sudden sensation after catching eight passes for 114 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career. The man who made a grand total of 25 catches for 294 yards in his first three seasons has morphed into the talk of the NFL, at least until this weekend’s batch of games.
How will Ogletree handle success?
“That’s the challenge for our football team,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “You guys know as well as I do, there’s a lot of attention that comes to the NFL, that comes to this football team, both good and bad. Really what you need to do, and I thought what our team did well last night, is just focus on what we need to do.”
The Cowboys have been intrigued by Ogletree’s potential since he arrived at Valley Ranch as an undrafted rookie. They hoped he would seize the third receiver role last season but had a disappointing training camp, leading one source to say that Ogletree had developed a sense of entitlement.
This offseason was a humbling experience for Ogletree, whose unreliability allowed Laurent Robinson to jump him on the depth chart last season. The Cowboys didn’t make him a tender offer to retain his rights as a restricted free agent, allowing him to test the market. He visited the Giants but didn’t get a contract offer before returning to Dallas for a bargain-basement, one-year, $640,000 deal.
Coaches, teammates and members of the front office said many times in the last few months that Ogletree had matured. It paid off with his performance in the opener, when Tony Romo trusted Ogletree enough to target him a team-high 11 times. Building off that performance gives Ogletree a chance to prove that he truly is a changed receiver.
Judging by his postgame comments, Ogletree gets it.
“Trust doesn’t come with one game or one play,” Ogletree said, “but we’re going to continue to work and hopefully that relationship continues.”