Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Ogletree Breakout No Fluke

Greg Maiola@Gom1094Senior Analyst IISeptember 7, 2012

Source: leaguesafepost.com
Source: leaguesafepost.com

Kevin Ogletree surprised the sports world when he stole the spotlight of the fantastic show that was the NFL's opening game. He outshined Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant by catching eight passes for 114 yards and two scores.

But when we break things down, his production really shouldn't be that much of a surprise at all. The No. 3 receiver has absolutely thrived with Tony Romo under center for the Dallas Cowboys, and 2012 should continue this trend.

Back in 2009, Austin was stuck behind Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton on the roster, serving as the No. 3 wideout. When Williams went down prior to the Week 5 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Austin got his chance to contribute on offense.

Austin responded with 10 receptions for a Cowboys' record 250 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winning 60 yard touchdown in overtime. This epic game assured the coaches that Austin was a playmaker despite being at that time the third receiver. Austin was able to parlay his playmaking ability into a Pro Bowl appearance that season. 

In 2011, the Cowboys used Austin and Dez Bryant as the two starting receivers. Laurent Robinson worked out for Dallas and was signed on September 7th, days before their opener. He was released on September 13th and then re-signed on September 20th to provide depth at the position.

Robinson served as the team's third receiver against the Detroit Lions on October 2nd and proved that he is a gamer, recording seven catches for 116 yards.

He kept up the hot streak and played as the No. 3 receiver until Austin got hurt, when he earned himself the starting gig. Robinson finished 2011 with 54 receptions for 858 yards and a team leading 11 touchdowns.

Austin's production in 2009 led him to sign a six year contract early in the 2010 season. Robinson's production helped him ink a five-year $32.5 million contract with Jacksonville in this past free agency period.

Over the last few years, the No. 3 receiver has had enormous success in Dallas and went on to bigger and better things in the NFL. There is no reason to believe that Ogletree won't be able to follow the trend.

His coming out game was played in front of national television audience and in front of a record home crowd for a Giants game. Ogletree stole the spotlight from New York in a tough environment and didn't back down from the opportunity, much like Austin's and Robinson's first experience with extensive action.

Though it is only one game, one game can change everything in the NFL. And history implies that Ogletree won't be going away any time soon.