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Mailbag: Why Clark over Cox at Linebacker?


From the limited film/highlights I watched of Jabril Cox and Damone Clark playing at LSU together, it seemed that Jabril was just as good or maybe even better than Damone. Can you shed some light on why Jabril hasn't cracked the lineup, but Damone instantly gets an opportunity once he is available?– Landon Dorman/Harlingen, TX

Patrik: They're actually two different types of linebackers. Clark is more of a downhill run-stopper who can also double as a pass rusher while Cox is better in coverage, and if you look at how the Cowboys struggle against the run – largely due to the LB corps needing to help set the edges better and not necessarily the interior of the defensive line – it makes sense that Clark would get the nod as soon as he was ready. If the passing defense was an issue instead of stopping the run, you might see Cox on the field and Clark being the one relegated to special teams until further notice.

Kyle: I could see how this would be a huge question. The biggest reasoning is their different skillsets and how they could be utilized to fill some of the defensive needs. Clark enters with a fierce downhill attitude and is a weapon in trying to stop the run, one of the biggest holes on the Dallas defense. Cox is much better in coverage and dropping off the line of scrimmage to cover tight ends and running backs, something Jayron Kearse has been able to do well. There's going to be a role for both of these guys down the road, but Clark fits the current needs better than Cox does at the moment.

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