Doug Free off to good start for Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys shape up to be one of the contenders in the NFC and the team has made no secret of its desire to become the first franchise in NFL history to play in the Super Bowl in its home stadium.

But as deep as the team’s roster is from top to bottom, questions exist and most of those start on the offensive line. One of the key questions is whether or not Doug Free can nail down the left tackle job and serve as blindside protection for quarterback Tony Romo.

Free, a fourth-round draft pick in 2007 from Northern Illinois, performed well last season when he was called on to replace Marc Colombo at right tackle. Now, he’s being asked to replace a longtime fixture in Flozell Adams. Team insiders insist Free is going to open eyes and perform admirably. If the beginning of training camp is a sign of things to come, maybe they are correct.

“Doug is a really good player,” outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. “I'm really confident in him. He'll be ready.”

By Fraley’s count, the two of squared off 10 times in camp in one-on-one pass-rushing drills and Free leads the competition 8-2. He’s also induced Ware to jump offside on two occasions but he’s had one false start.

“He was confident coming in, and he's done well," Wade Phillips said. “His pass protection has been strong. Going against the guys he's going against, he's done a good job. You don't get much better than the guys he's been going against.”

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