When Dez Bryant went out of the Cincinnati game because of a broken finger, the first player to catch a pass was his replacement, Kevin Ogletree.
He caught a five-yard slant for a first down on third-and-2. Two plays later, he caught a pass in the middle of the field for 23 yards.
They are the kind of plays that give him confidence he can step in for Bryant if Bryant can’t play because of a broken finger.
“We’re two different players, but we both have the same job, and it might not look the same, but we’re both trying to get it done as effectively as we can,” Ogletree said.
Ogletree is fourth on the team in catches with 28 for 390 yards and three touchdowns. The fourth and fifth receivers, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley, have 24 catches for 249 yards between them.
“You don’t replace a guy like Dez Bryant, but guys come in and complement,” tight end Jason Witten said. “We’re going to have to move those chains with underneath stuff, not with just big plays. This defense, they don’t give up a lot of those big throws. ... It’s going to be a challenge. Tony handles those situations. He builds those younger receivers from training camp up to this point. He has a lot of trust in those guys, and we’ll need them.”
Ogletree got a dash of confidence from Bryant himself Thursday.
“Just talking to him today, he was like, ‘I haven’t seen that many guys that run routes like you.’ I was like, ‘I haven’t seen that many guys like you – period.’
“He’s a great player, man. Everyone’s finding that out. We’ve known that here for a while, and just seeing him get better every day, every minute, has been helpful for the whole group.”
-- Carlos Mendez