Sep 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Dallas Cowboys tackle Jermey Parnell (78) during warm ups prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jermey Parnell, Tackle, Dallas Cowboys
Speaking of clearing the way for rushers, the Dallas Cowboys had the most talked up and respected offensive line in the NFL in 2014. Near the end of the year starting right tackle Doug Free was lost to injury and Jermey Parnell stepped in and played admirably.
The former undrafted tackle bounced from New Orleans to Miami and again New Orleans before finding a home in Dallas in 2010. The team knew he was raw after being a basketball player for Mississippi in college.
In college he did play some football, but mostly as a defensive end. Dallas liked his potential and they were rewarded for their patience by his play in 2014.
Now Parnell has a shot to look for a payday and a full-time starting spot in the league. Derek Newton was the starter for Houston, but is also a free agent and was rather inconsistent at protecting the quarterback in 2014.
As good as Parnell was for Dallas, they have to make a choice now about who to keep, Parnell or Free. The belief is the team can only afford one, and some believe the team is actually better off with the higher priced, and older Free as he was the mentor to the young line.
If Free remains in Dallas and the younger understudy hits the market, he could be an intriguing player to bring in. Parnell offers a potential upgrade who will only improve with more playing time.
Next: A Red Zone Target At Tight End