Camp Battles Always Intriguing

Despite all the changes during the offseason, the Cowboys will have a number of positions up for grabs when training camp opens in about a month.

Namely, fullback, right tackle, one inside linebacker spot and free safety are wide open.

And of course if Larry Allen moves to right tackle, then left guard will be wide open.

Torrin Tucker, Jacob Rogers, Kurt Vollers, Ben Noll and Rob Pettiti will compete for the starting right tackle spot in training camp. But if no one from this unproven mix emerges, Allen could be moved to right tackle with Gurode or Stephen Peterman vying for the spot at left guard. has confirmed that Allen has at least lined up as a right tackle at times during offseason on-the-field workouts, but that likely won't last.

An intriguing battle is shaping up at free safety where Lynn Scott, Keith Davis and Izell Reese will compete for the starting job. Davis is the clubhouse favorite, but his value on special teams will play a role in the final decision. Reese is the safe choice because of his experience.

"I think Keith has played pretty darn good in this camp," Bill Parcells said after mini-camp in May. "I am torn there because he is my best special teams player. But if he is the best player, he is going to play. I am torn because if he is starting, we are going to be losing a lot on special teams."

Also, don't forget about fullback, where Lousaka Polite will compete with Darian Barnes for the starting spot vacated by Richie Anderson.

Bradie James and Scott Shanle will compete for one inside linebacker spot next to Dat Nguyen.

James was thought to be a lock for the position at one time, but Parcells remains disappointed that he didn't emerge as a front line performer when he gave him an opportunity to beat out the departed Dexter Coakley last season.

Shanle caught Parcells' eye last year and was allowed to work with the first team ahead of James in minicamp. Stay tuned with this one.

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