With right tackle Doug Free out three-to-four weeks with a fractured foot, the little-used Jermey Parnell will step into the starting lineup.
The Cowboys always looked at Parnell, a former college basketball player at Mississippi, as a developmental prospect who could possible replace Free in the future.
The future is now for Parnell, who is in his fifth year with the Cowboys and has only two career starts. He started at left tackle for Tyron Smith in 2012 and as a sixth linemen against New Orleans in 2013.
“Yes, I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Parnell said. “It’s been a long time coming. I’m going to continue to work hard and see how it goes.”
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Parnell, who saw his most extensive playing time in 2012 when he split time with an under-performing Free through the second half of the season, has no intention of letting down his teammates now.
The Cowboys offensive line has been a strength of the team, and Parnell plans to do his part to keep it that way.
“I’m going to try to keep it simple,” Parnell said. “I’m going to trust the coaches and work hard and see how it goes. I’m prepared.”
Parnell is in the final year of his contract, making a base salary of $1.5 million.