Cowboys Keep Free, Let Parnell Escape to Jaguars


We knew the Cowboys couldn’t afford to keep both Doug Free and Jermey Parnell.

To my surprise, they choose experience over potential.

While the Cowboys signed the 31-year-old Free to a three-year contract on Friday to keep their starting offensive line in place for 2015, their prized backup is leaving. Parnell, who started five regular-season games and both playoff games at right tackle for the injured Free, has agreed to a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to an ESPN report. Parnell, 28, will sign a five-year, $32 million contract.

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It’s the first free-agent defection this year for the Cowboys.

Turns out Free might have been cheaper, too.

This will be interesting to watch next season. Will the Cowboys regret sticking with Free, who last year played well but was showing signs of physically breaking down with injuries? Or will the Jaguars have themselves another Laurent Robinson? After a good year in Dallas in 2001 they signed the free-agent receiver only to cut him after one disappointing year.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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