MINNEAPOLIS -I'll just say I had my mind made up about Jesse Holley before he ever put on a Cowboys uniform. I thought he was the result of a publicity stunt, that there was no way a player picked from a reality show could contribute in the NFL.
I thought in 2009 when he showed up that he would be among the first few guys cut in training camp, and he proved me wrong. And as of Saturday afternoon I didn't expect him to be part of the 53-man roster this year. But I think he's proved me wrong again after catching three passes for 51 yards, and converting three first downs, two of them on third down.
Following the performance against the Vikings, I now think he'll be active every week as the fourth or fifth receiver.
"Minnesota is good to me," Holley said afterward. "Anytime I'm on the cusp of needing a job, I'd love to come back to Minnesota."
Holley originally stuck on the practice squad two years ago after an improbable punt return touchdown that beat the Vikings in an otherwise totally forgettable preseason finale.
Since then he's impressed the front office and coaches with a stellar work ethic, and was upgraded to the the active roster last season when the Cowboys needed special teams help. I've thought he was a special teams-only guy since then, and believed the Cowboys would add a receiver who could do that *and *catch a few passes on waivers, but now it looks like Holley is that guy.
Every time he's given an opportunity, he does something good with it. This summer, the opportunity has been more frequent snaps with Tony Romo and the starters, and Holley has made the most of them.
"The biggest thing that you want to do, especially working with the first-team quarterback, is make him confident in you," Holley said. "It's one thing to do it in practice, it's a whole 'nother thing to do it in the game. And when you make these plays, the slant and another play that I made, it gives Tony confidence that when he looks out there and sees (No.) 16, it's not just a body out there."