The Dallas Cowboys have officially opened the practice window for rookie LB Damone Clark. Clarke, who had been on the non-football injury list because of neck surgery, is expected to contribute the second half of the season for Dallas so I wanted to look back on the rookie linebacker from LSU and share my pre-draft report of him.
The Dallas Cowboys could set up a potential reunion of former LSU teammates, Damone Clark and Jabril Cox, in the future.
Keep in mind, this was written BEFORE the Dallas Cowboys drafted Damone Clarke so it’s completely unbiased:
The 2021 NFL Draft started the rebuilding of the Dallas Cowboys defense. The prize jewel of last’s year draft class was the otherworldly talented linebacker Micah Parsons. Dallas didn’t stop there but added another talented young backer in LSU Jabril Cox, but his rookie season was cut short with an ACL injury.
Dallas rightfully moved on from Jaylon Smith. Leighton Vander Esch could follow after this season. With few futures resources at the position after 2021. I can envision the Dallas Cowboys drafting not one, but potentially two young backers.
Today I am going to spotlight LSU’s tackling machine Damone Clark and why he would fit perfectly beside Parsons and Cox as the Dallas Cowboys’ new starting trio of linebackers in 2022 and beyond.
Weight: 245 pounds
Hand Size: 9 6/8 Inches
Arm Length: 34 6/8 Inches
Wingspan: 78 Inches
Per: Pro Day Measurements
College Games Watched
Ole Miss (2021)
Texas A&M (2021)
Clark is a three-down linebacker with speed, excellent size, quickness and outstanding range for the modern-day linebacker in today’s NFL.
His ability to pursue sideline-to-sideline is what teams are looking for. He can drop into coverage, defend the run, and can be unleashed as a blitzer.
I have read reports that some people consider him similar to Micah Parsons as far as how he can be deployed in various ways. I can agree but he not is the quick twitch athletic linebacker that Micah Parsons is. Not even close, but he displays much better instincts at linebacker at this stage.
I see a player’s comparison of Zach Cunningham with better coverage skills and former LSU teammate Jabril Cox but a more physical run defender.
The 2021 college season, Damone Clark had 135 tackles, 15 tackles for losses, 2 forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks, 1 interception and 4 passes defended.
His saved his best performance against Texas A&M. His motor ran hot all day long. He did a little bit of everything, showcasing his closing speed in run defense, covering tight ends and receivers, and amassing splash play after splash play.
He finished the game with 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks. He ended the game with back-to-back sacks.
I have seen teams run at him and getting off his blocks has shown up so this could be a cause for concern for some teams. I believe this can be corrected with NFL level coaching. If George Edwards stays with the Dallas Cowboys, Damone Clark could be another willing pupil for him to mold.
There is a lot to love here. Physical tools, natural leadership, high character, and the intangibles you look for in players. He still has things to work on. Getting off his blocks being one and not biting on play action is another. I have no doubts he will get better. He looks to be a day one starter. What he does at the Senior Bowl could have him rising up the ranks very quickly maybe even into the bottom half of the first round.
Fit with the Dallas Cowboys
Damone Clark checks all of the boxes as far as what we have seen the new regime like from their linebackers. Length, size, speed, and position versatility.
The majority of his time in college, Clark has played the “Mike” position but he has also come off the edge. This type of versatility would serve him well in Dallas. I don’t see any task too big for him that he could not handle at the next level.
You want him to drop back in zone coverage? Check. You want him to handle man coverage duties? Check. You want him shoot into the A gap? Check. You want to call the defense? Check. I have seen chase him down players 10 yards away.
With so much uncertainty at the position after this 2021 season, a potential Parsons-Cox-Clark partnership would fit right in with the youth movement that began this year.