The talk of the 2022 season for the Dallas Cowboys continues to be their daunting defense. Featuring players like Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler. All of whom make life a living hell for opposing quarterbacks.
On top of that, great outputs from secondary players like Trevon Diggs, Donovan Wilson and Anthony Brown are making this one of the premiere, elite defenses in football.
Even with injuries to key players like Jayron Kearse, Quinton Bohanna and Jourdan Lewis, they prevail. And even better, there’s a chance they can see one of their rookie draft picks with a very high ceiling return soon.
First reported by Cowboys reporter Todd Archer of ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys may be looking to bring back LB Damone Clark in what originally looked like a redshirt season.
Look for the Cowboys to open the practice window for rookie LB Damone Clark, who has been on the non-football injury list because of neck surgery, as soon as Wed. Once he starts practice, Cowboys have 21 days before needing to add him to 53-man roster or keep on NFI for season.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 4, 2022
This would be an enormous development for Clark to return to the field. Especially due the severity of his diagnosis.
Back in May, Dr. Michael Boothby of the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke with AtoZ Sports morning show host Will ‘Skywalker’ Steele on Clark’s injury and timeline to return.
“One would think that at the level he was having it, where it wasn’t super-symptomatic for him playing. One would think that if it wasn’t picked up, it would’ve started to become more symptomatic. It wouldn’t have been uber-dangerous for him if the disk had been pushing on the nerve root. Because, remember, that’s different than his spinal cord…
In terms of return to play, it’s somewhat of a broad window. And the reason is because the bone has to heal back together. And that fusion has to be firm and tight around the disk herniation before you can allow contact. Or else, it would slow down and risk not healing at the bony level. Which would be lousy for everybody… That window is anywhere from 6-12 months for a contact athlete”
When the Dallas Cowboys selected Clark in the fifth round of last April’s draft, it was very much a high-upside, high-potential pick. Despite his neck injury, Clark was one of the most versatile LB’s in the draft, with the ability to cover, as well as run laterally.
After his spinal fusion surgery back in March, the expectations were not only that he’d miss his rookie season, but wouldn’t be ready for action until the following off-season.
If he shows any sort of signs that he is able to play, the Cowboys may consider bringing him back. The LB position is solid at the moment, yet inconsistent behind Parsons.
Should the Dallas Cowboys decide to take him off the NFI list, they would need to add him to the 53-man roster. Otherwise, we will have to wait until 2023 to see Clark in action.
Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports