Parnell, Bell to practice with rest of team

OXNARD, Calif. -- A couple of injured offensive tackles will get some team work in Tuesday.

Tackles Jermey Parnell and Demetress Bell returned to practice for individual drills Sunday, but coach Jason Garrett said the pair will slowly move into team drills for Tuesday's afternoon practice.

Parnell has recovered from a strained hamstring suffered early in training camp. Bell was overweight and failed to pass the conditioning test. Once Bell passed the conditioning test, he was cleared to practice.

Injuries along the offensive line forced the Cowboys to mix and match players at different spots and Garrett said he shortened practice Monday because of a shortage at the tackle spot.

"They've been in their pads, and that's been good for them," Garrett said of Parnell and Bell. "We anticipate them taking the next step and being in a limited role, maybe stay out of some of the one-on-one competitive stuff, but get involved in some of the team situations."

Garrett has said Parnell is still in the running to make the team as the swing tackle. He was sharing some first-team snaps at right tackle with Doug Free, but once Parnell went down, Free took command of the position.

Bell, who started five games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season, was signed to add competition to the tackle spot, but his weight was an issue.

"He's been a good player," Garrett said. "Again, he's a guy we talked a lot about before the (2008) draft. He went elsewhere and he's had a relatively productive career so far.

"Those positions are really of great value, if you're a tackle in the National Football League and your big and long and you can pass protect, you can be of value to a football team. He was on the street, he was somebody we knew about and we brought him in. To be honest with you, he was overweight and out of shape, we still thought it was worth bringing him in here and getting himself in shape and he's been working hard the last couple of weeks."