Damone Clark's postgame quote shows Cowboys LBs took Shaq Leonard meeting personally

Dec 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) fumbles the
Dec 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) fumbles the / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Do we think Shaq Leonard regrets signing with the Philadelphia Eagles over the Dallas Cowboys? Do we think Shaq Leonard regrets praising the "dawg mentality" of the Eagles defense days before his new team played the Cowboys in primetime at AT&T Stadium, where Philadelphia hasn't won in its last six tries?

At the end of the day, Leonard reunited with Nick Sirianni, who served as the Colts' offensive coordinator for three seasons during Leonard's tenure in Indy. He also signed with the team that could afford him the most playing time, so he's probably content with his decision.

While Leonard was out there on Sunday night, his impact was minimal. He made two tackles and played just 14 defensive snaps.

Had he joined the Cowboys, he might have received less playing time given Dallas linebackers Damone Clark and Markquese Bell turned in arguably their best games of the season against the Eagles.

It's clear Clark and Bell were out to send a message to the Cowboys and Clark's postgame quote all but confirms they took the team's meeting with Leonard to heart.

Cowboys' Damone Clark's postgame quote shows he, Markquese Bell took Shaq Leonard meeting personally

Here's what Clark told Patrik Walker of DallasCowboys.com of the message he and Bell sent to the nation after Dallas showed interest in Leonard.

"We're young but, at the end of the day, this is not our first rodeo. It might be a different level of football, but it's just football, at the end of the day. As long as we keep taking steps in the right direction, I feel like everything is gonna be alright, and we're taking the right steps — just keep challenging one another and going out there and doing it."

Clark and Bell are 23 and 24 years old, respectively, but you wouldn't know it based on their performance this season. The young duo have been a revelation at linebacker. Their chemistry is budding, as evidenced by their combined big hit on an Eagles pass-catcher that dislodged the ball to force a third down.

Individually, Clark and Bell were brilliant on Sunday.

Clark contributed four tackles, a pass breakup and a clutch recovery on Jalen Hurts' first quarter fumble that helped swing momentum in Dallas' favor. Bell also had four tackles, the aforementioned pass breakup and a forced fumble on DeVonta Smith in the fourth quarter that effectively clinched the win for the Cowboys.

Clark and Bell were immense to the Cowboys limiting the Eagles' high-octane offense to 13 points and without an offensive touchdown. In doing so, they snapped Philly's streak of 110 straight regular season games with at least one offensive touchdown, per the Dallas Morning News.

The Cowboys didn't need Shaq Leonard to accomplish that.

Not landing the newly-minted Eagle could end up being a blessing in disguise for Dallas now that Clark and Bell are seemingly playing with a huge chip on their shoulder.

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