By no stretch can Alex Barron be considered a good NFL offensive tackle at this point of his career.
The Cowboys are basically butt naked behind Doug Free at left tackle. Redshirt third-rounder Robert Brewster is penciled in as the swing tackle for the moment. As the roster stands, it's likely that Leonard Davis would move to tackle in case of an injury to Free or Marc Colombo, a scenario that would downgrade two positions and disrupt the line's chemistry.
So adding Barron makes sense for the Cowboys, who have no use for Carpenter after drafting Penn State linebacker Sean Lee in the second round.
Barron is a restricted free agent who was tendered at a first-round level, so it's not as if the Cowboys are taking a long-term risk. All they'd have to make is a one-year commitment to Barron, a 2005 first-round pick.
The best-case scenario is that Dallas offensive line coach Hudson Houck could tap into the 6-7, 315-pound Barron's talent, leading to a legitimate competition at left tackle.
Barron is considered a big bust in St. Louis. He's even more penalty-plagued than Adams, getting whistled for 43 false starts in five seasons and an NFL-high five holding penalties last season. He's allowed 33 sacks in his career, which is way too high.
But Barron, even with his flaws, is of more use to the Cowboys than Carpenter. It's a no-risk deal that addresses a hole in the Dallas roster.