In Week 15 of last season, Dallas Cowboys’ right tackle Doug Free went down with an ankle injury that would ultimately result in his missing the final three games of the regular season and both playoff games.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Jermey Parnell was there to step in. Parnell had already started two games earlier in the season while Free recovered from a broken foot and, as he did over that two-game span in October, he flourished on the right side when his number was called in December and into January.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones knows the team was more than a little fortunate to have such a quality tackle on the roster as an insurance policy.
“Very few teams got three left tackles they can go to war with, plus having two right tackles and that combination of things,” Jones told the team’s official website last week. “If you really looked at it was probably one of our greatest luxuries in my 25 years.”
With Parnell headed to Jacksonville, having signed a five-year, $32 million deal with the Jaguars last month--a testament to just how good he was in Free’s absence--Jones is in the market for a replacement, saying the team may look to the draft to once again have the luxury that Parnell’s presence afforded them a year ago.
“I would not rule out an offensive lineman under some circumstances,” Jones said.
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