Meet the new tackle: Jermey Parnell

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys added another offensive tackle to the roster on Thursday in signing Jermey Parnell off the New Orleans Saints practice squad.

Coach Wade Phillips said Parnell is athletic and a big guy who can move well.

The signing of Parnell gives the Cowboys six tackles on the 53-man roster: Doug Free, Alex Barron, Marc Colombo, Robert Brewster, Sam Young and Parnell.

Even though the Cowboys have 53 men on the roster, wide receiver Jesse Holley has worked with the first-team special teams units and could get moved from the practice squad to the active roster on Friday.

If that happens the Cowboys have to release someone.

Parnell's road to the Cowboys is interesting.

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Parnell played only one season of football at Ole Miss and was a defensive end that year. He played four seasons for Ole Miss' basketball team.

"Houston Nutt came to me and was like 'I understand you like basketball.' But football is my sport," said Parnell, who hadn't played basketball since junior high school. "So after basketball season was over with I tried out for football and it worked out for me ever since."

After his college eligibility was up, Parnell received offers to play basketball in Korea and after a talk with his mother, elected to try football.

Parnell was on the practice squad for the New Orleans Saints, with whom he signed as an undrafted rookie free agent last year. He was released by the Saints on Sept. 4 and immediately claimed by the Miami Dolphins, who released him Sept. 25 of this year. Parnell resigned with the Saints' practice squad on Sept. 28.

Now he's in Dallas and had only two bags of luggage with him, including a suit which he crammed into one of the bags.

"Man, I was a little shocked, really shocked Dallas was interested in me," he said. "I'm happy to be here and I'm ready to get to work."