Free's status up in air with sprained foot

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys right tackle Doug Free suffered a sprained right foot in Sunday's win against the Seattle Seahawks and could miss the next three games. However, multiple sources expressed optimism he could return sooner than that.

Free was hurt on a 6-yard run by DeMarco Murray with 3:51 to play and was replaced by Jermey Parnell. Murray scored the go-ahead touchdown on the next play. Free was able to return for the final few victory formation snaps.

After the game he said he was OK, but he was in a walking boot.

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2010, Free has not missed a game, starting 70 straight games at left and right tackle. Parnell would take over at right tackle if Free cannot play. Donald Hawkins, who has been inactive the first six games, is the only other tackle on the active roster.

"We'll see what it is here over the next few days," coach Jason Garrett said.

Parnell has started two games in his career, one in each of the past two seasons. He has played in mostly short-yardage and goal-line situations. He was limited in practice last week because of a rib injury suffered against the Houston Texans.

Garrett praised Parnell's work off the bench at the end of the Seahawks' game.

"He came off the ball,” Garrett said. "One of the challenges for guys like that going into a game like that is that everybody's been playing for a while. The crowd noise and all that stuff, you get used to that. All of a sudden you come in fresh, you're kind of clean but everybody else is well into this thing. I thought he responded well emotionally and mentally to that situation and those were big plays he played.”