Jermey Parnell is expected to make another start at right tackle on Sunday as Doug Free missed practice again on Thursday as he's battled foot and ankle injuries he suffered in the Cowboys' win over Philadelphia in Week 15.
Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who oversees arguably the best offensive line in football, said the Cowboys are just fine with Parnell, as evidenced by his play in the past few games. Callahan added that Parnell wouldn't be a backup tackle if he were on any other team in the league.
“He’s stepped in and we haven’t skipped a beat,” Callahan told The Dallas Morning News. “That speaks to his preparation and his ability to prepare week in and week out as a starter. So we’re real confident in J.P. and what he’s done and what he brings to the table. I think across the league he could start for any other team at right tackle. He’s that talented.”
Parnell was a college basketball player at Ole Miss and when he finally began his football career he was a defensive lineman. Callahan said he was impressed with the way his pupil has taken to the other side of the trenches.
“How he transformed himself, made himself, converted himself into an offensive lineman, it’s a story that needs to be told because this guy has come a long, long ways,” Callahan said. “I just love the guy, just works his butt off. Everything he does, he’s a pro. You just appreciate stories like that, guys coming up from nowhere and doing well and having a chance and an opportunity. This will be another big opportunity on this stage this weekend.”