Yes, going with TEXT field instead of date is a good option. Choose 'String' data type option while creating the parameter.
You can then use a calculation to convert the parameter to date.
DATEPARSE("dd/MM/yyyy", [Parameter]) is a good option.
If using DATEPARSE(), then make sure your end users must type in the dates in the exact format specified in the calculation.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the response Okechukwu Ossai
seems there is no other option to disable the calendar popup menu on a date parameter. I was trying to stop the conversion of Varchar to Date at the calling stored procedure since i have 100s' of reuse stored procedures.