How was Kevin Ogletree able to have such a breakout game in the Dallas Cowboys’ season opener? The undrafted rookie in 2009 that caught 25 passes in three seasons torched the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants with eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
How does that happen?
Well, allow his quarterback to explain.
During a Friday radio interview, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo talked about the growth he’s witnessed in the 25-year-old wide receiver.
“He’s always had some ability,” Romo said on 1310 The Ticket [KTCK-AM]. “He just needed to make it important every day. It’s easy when you’re the fourth, fifth, sixth guy. You can kind of get lost and say, ‘Well, I’m just going to try to get through the day’ when you’re tired in training camp or other times. Kevin recharges his batteries every single day and made it important that he was going to go out there and make today his best day, and he was going to keep trying to win the day. That’s one thing that he really did a great job that I saw.
“His approach to the game was better than any other year. It just comes down to a play or two. Not only with these guys that are battling for positions. Sometimes it’s a battle. But if you make that play or two, you gain that confidence. Then all of a sudden you feel and you know you can do it the next time. And the next time it’s easier, and the next time it’s easier. But the only way to do that is to fight through those hard times. Commit to it. To say I’m going to stay up late, I’m going to do what I need to do to study so I don’t make that one mistake tomorrow on that one motion, when I’m supposed to be at this amount on my depth, or this is my snap point.
“His whole job is to make me feel comfortable that he’s going to be in the exact spot I’m going to need him to be at that time. And he’s really done a good job of that.”
There was no better example of that than on arguably the biggest play of the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys were up 24-17 and needed a first down to run out the clock. On third-and-10, Romo didn’t look to Miles Austin, Jason Witten or Dez Bryant. No, he fired an inside throw to a streaking Ogletree for a 13-yard gain.
Romo then followed by kneeling the ball down three times.