IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys made some significant changes to the offensive line this week by moving starting right tackle Doug Free to right guard and moving starting right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau to left guard.
Parnell is a highly thought of player who shared snaps with Free in the last month of last season. As training camp started, the thought was that Parnell would compete with Free for the starting job at tackle. But Parnell suffered a strained hamstring early in camp, and Free excelled to solidify his spot as the starter.
Coach Jason Garrett admitted the missed time was a setback for Parnell.
"Absolutely. You want him to be able to go through all of the OTAs and practice in the minicamps and practice all through training camp," Garrett said. "The situation is what it is and you’ve got to make the best out of it. He’s come back and worked very hard to get himself healthy, and it will be fun to see him play."
With injuries along the offensive line, particularly in the interior, the Cowboys are looking at Plan B and Plan C in case Ronald Leary and Nate Livings don't return from injuries in time for the regular season opener.
Parnell is part of that plan.
"He gets after guys," Garrett said. "That’s a real positive thing. Technically, he’s got to get better. He plays too high. A lot of young players play high. He’s tall. It’s something he’s got to really work on, bending. And then he hasn’t played football in a little bit, so he’s getting back to where he needs to be."