Position battle: Free vs. Barron

SAN ANTONIO -- Worried about Doug Free protecting Tony Romo's blind side? His performance in his first training camp practice as the Cowboys' starting left tackle won't ease those concerns.

Twice during team drills, backup outside linebackers blew by Free for what would have been clean shots at Romo's back. Free didn't get a finger on Brandon Williams or Steve Octavien as they turned the corner on simple speed rushes.

If that continues, ex-Rams first-round pick Alex Barron could move past Free on the depth chart. Barron didn't allow any obvious pressures in the opening practice.

Of course, you can't overreact to a couple of plays during a padless practice.

The Cowboys' trade for Free wasn't an indication that they lacked confidence in Free. It addressed the need for depth at tackle while giving up nothing but first-round bust Bobby Carpenter. The Cowboys cut Flozell Adams because they felt Free was prepared for the job after playing well in seven starts at right tackle the previous season.

Jerry Jones said Friday night that Free's athletic ability is actually an upgrade at left tackle. That wasn't evident on two snaps Saturday.