IRVING, Texas– The Cowboys will apparently have to find another swing tackle.
Jermey Parnell, a valuable backup who actually started seven games for the Cowboys last season at right tackle, will reportedly sign with the Jaguars when free agency officially begins on Tuesday.
Parnell's deal is expected to top the three-year, $15 million contract the Cowboys gave to Doug Free on Saturday. Parnell's contract is reportedly in the range of five years, $32 million to sign with Jacksonville.
Age likely played a factor in both contracts as Free turned 31 in January while Parnell turns 29 in July. Also, Parnell has played just 54 games, starting just seven in his career. The Jaguars are obviously counting on the fact Parnell will be able to play at a high level well past the age of 30.
Parnell signed with the Cowboys late in 2011 season after the former Ole Miss basketball standout spent some time with the Saints and Dolphins. Parnell played in all 16 games in 2012, including one start for Tyron Smith at left tackle on Thanksgiving.
In 2013, he played in all 16 games, mostly as a backup but did start six games for Free and filled in during a fourth-quarter rally against the Seahawks. Parnell started three games in late October and early November and then the final four games, including two in the playoffs.
With Free locked up on the right side, the Cowboys will now have to find an adequate backup for both left and right. Darrion Weems missed all of last season with a shoulder injury but has re-signed his exclusive rights deal and is expected back.
John Wetzel was on the practice squad the past two seasons and nearly made the 53-man roster last year. He is expected back in 2015 as well.