Q: I noticed a majority of the passes thrown to Kevin Ogletree were screens and they worked rather well. Do you think he’ll have a bigger role on the team next season? What’s the word within the coaching staff on him?
A: The Cowboys did utilize Ogletree well on smoke screens, particularly when they anticipated a blitz against the Eagles. Ogletree has tremendous run-after-catch abilities, and Jason Garrett did a terrific job getting him the ball in situations he could handle. Don’t forget Ogletree was an undrafted rookie, so the Cowboys were smart in giving him simple plays where he could use his athleticism without thinking too much.
Ogletree has more to his game than we saw on the screens, though. The comeback route he ran against the Saints comes to mind, where he pushed the defender vertically, got him to turn his hips, made a sharp cut, came back to the ball and made a toe-dragging catch at the sideline. Textbook.
Ogletree will have a tough time cracking the starting lineup, though, because Roy Williams will be given every chance to win the starting job. The coaching staff loves Ogletree, but Jerry Jones is still convinced Roy can be a #1 type wide receiver.
Still, expect Ogletree to continue to improve and, with a good camp and Roy Williams’ meltdown, he does have an outside shot at becoming a starter.
Q: If the Cowboys cut Ken Hamlin and the Cardinals cut Antrel Rolle, do you see Dallas signing Rolle, or will they wait until the draft to address the position?
Bryan D. Cornelius via Facebook
A: The Cowboys are very unlikely to sign Antrel Rolle. They will be perfectly able to sign Rolle, as their Final Eight status does not limit their ability to sign players who were released, but Rolle is getting cut for a reason. He does make some big plays, but he also gives up a lot of the same. Say what you want about Ken Hamlin, but he does a good job of keeping the ball in front of him. Sometimes having a free safety whose name is not called a lot can be a good thing.
Many draftniks are projecting the Cowboys to draft a free safety in the first round, but we don’t see that happening either. Ken Hamlin is unlikely to get released, and the Cowboys have a rookie in Michael Hamlin behind him who didn’t play last year due to injury.
Alan Ball also gives the team a lot of versatility in his ability to play both cornerback and free safety. He could even compete for the starting job in camp.
If pressed, we would guess that the Cowboys opening day starters at safety will be the same as last season. This may not be what a lot of you will want to see, and we know we are in the minority concerning this issue, but we see the Cowboys likely to address other positions in free agency and the early draft.