- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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OXNARD, Calif. -- The Cowboys are entering the meat of training camp as they begin their ninth practice.
Position battles: Monday was a good day to see just what the coaches are thinking about certain spots on the team. Nate Livings and Ronald Leary are getting a chance to compete for the starting left guard position. Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin are getting chances at right and left guard as well. Sean Lissemore shared some snaps at defensive tackle with Nick Hayden. We've seen Ernie Sims get a few snaps with the first team at one of the outside linebacker positions. If the Cowboys keep six receivers, Jared Green, Eric Rogers and Anthony Armstrong are the leading candidates. Stay tuned.
Romo's work: Quarterback Tony Romo has been fun to watch this camp. He's displaying good arm strength and movement when the pocket closes in on him. Romo is getting on players for making mistakes but he's also doing the little things. During walk-through practices, Romo, along with quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, is leading a small group of players in a teaching session. It's in these walk-throughs that Romo tells the receivers and sometimes the running back, DeMarco Murray in most cases, where he wants them during certain play calls and what types of adjustments need to be made.
Doug Free's camp: The starting right tackle was getting chased off the team by some fans and the media in the offseason but he has performed well this camp. He's continuing the constant battles against a variety of defensive ends, Anthony Spencer, Kyle Wilber, Cameron Sheffield, Tyrone Crawford and George Selvie. Free hasn't won every battle, but you can tell he's much better at the point of attack, and there are very few pressures coming from his side of the line.
Practice today: It starts at 6 p.m. CT, and this will be the last practice before the off day Wednesday. It will be interesting to see whether certain hurt players participate. Those who don't likely won't be allowed to play in Sunday's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins. Cole Beasley has swelling in his left quad, and he, like Dez Bryant (sore hip), wants to practice and eventually play against the Dolphins.