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Cowboys Rookie Months Away From Being Medically Cleared

Dallas Cowboys helmet on the field.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 29: A Dallas Cowboys helmet is pictured during a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys knew they would have to wait for Damone Clark when making him the 176th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Clark underwent spinal fusion surgery on a herniated disk discovered during the NFL Scouting Combine. Dallas nevertheless took a chance on the LSU linebacker with a Day 3 selection.

According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Clark "is still months away from being medically cleared to practice."

Clark said the Cowboys' medical staff found his herniated disk at the Combine, so he's grateful to begin his NFL career in Dallas.

"It’s crazy that this is the team that drafted me," Clark said. "So I already feel comfortable being here."

Dallas has no reason to rush a fifth-round pick into action, so don't expect Clark to make his NFL debut anytime soon. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed as much, telling reporters (via Gehlken) that the 22-year-old "won’t play too early."

However, McCarthy applauded the newcomer's "engagement and understanding."

Clark compiled 77 tackles (15 for a loss), 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles during his senior season with the Tigers. 

The Cowboys may feel like they got a discount on Clark because of his health concerns. While there's no guarantee he plays this year, he'll eventually get a chance to prove them right.