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Free Dealing With Foot Injury; Garrett Praises OT Parnell


IRVING, Texas – One of the biggest reasons for the Cowboys' sudden turnaround this year has been the obvious improved play of the offensive line.

From left to right, that unit is pushing to be considered the best in the NFL right now. But they might be dealing with their first setback, considering the nature of Doug Free's foot injury.

Head coach Jason Garrett sounded somewhat optimistic in Free's chances of playing soon, maybe as early as Sunday's game with the Giants.

"I think he's Ok," Garrett said on Monday. "He's dealing with that injury. We'll see what it is over the next few days."

Free suffered the injury late in the game, as the Cowboys were driving for a go-ahead touchdown. He had to be helped off the field and missed the next two drives. However, he was back on the field for the "Victory" formation, suggesting at least the nature of the injury might not be too serious.

But he was in a walking boot heading towards the plane ride home. [embedded_ad]

When he left the game, the Cowboys inserted Jermey Parnell at right tackle. Not only did he finish the drive, but had some of the leading blocks for DeMarco Murray, who scored the go-ahead 15-yard touchdown run, that proved to be the game-winner.

"Well, Jermey did a real nice job. He didn't play many plays in the game but he played some important ones," Garrett said. "He's been dealing with a rib injury and hasn't been able to practice much the last two days. He came in and responded well to the situation. He was part of knocking a guy all the way on his back on that first one. He came off the ball – one of the challenges for a guy like that going into the game like that, everyone has been playing for a while. All of a sudden you come in, your (uniform) is fresh and clean. Everyone else is well into this thing. I think he responded well mentally in that situation."

Parnell has played some this season as an extra tight end on short-yardage situations.

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