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With plea deal, does Frank Clark fit more in Cowboys' plans?

IRVING, Texas -- Late last week, former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark reached a plea agreement after a domestic violence incident last year in Toledo, Ohio.

The incident led to Clark's dismissal from the team and put his NFL future in doubt. Clark had faced a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence but pleaded down to disorderly conduct. He was also fined $450, was ordered to complete counseling and has to have one year of good behavior.

Last week, Clark was among the nearly 30 draft prospects to visit the Dallas Cowboys at Valley Ranch. The Cowboys use their visits to get to know the players better, to answer any medical questions or to clear up any off-field transgressions.

If Clark is on the list of visitors, then there is a good chance the Cowboys would take him, provided his answers were truthful and earnest. On the field, there is no question Clark would fit what the Cowboys need. He is an excellent pass-rusher with the ability to use speed and power. He can affect the quarterback and the Cowboys -- like all teams -- need as many of those players as possible.

The question is when would the Cowboys feel comfortable drafting Clark?

They signed Greg Hardy to a one-year deal earlier this summer despite his domestic violence charge last year that has since been dropped. The Cowboys were willing to take the heat for signing Hardy and point to the structure of the contract as their opt-out. If he does not follow their plan, then he will not receive the bulk of the $11 million due to him and would be a minimal charge to the cap.

The NFL is expected to levy some sort of suspension on Hardy as its investigation continues.

Before the plea agreement, perhaps Clark was a third-day player, going anywhere from Rounds 4-7. Some teams will likely keep him off their draft board altogether. Others might keep him in the same area, but others might be more willing to move him up considering the plea.

As much as people want to view the draft process in black and white, most of it deals in gray because of ability, scheme fits, injury histories and off-field concerns.

The Cowboys like Clark, the player. Does last week's plea agreement make them like him just a little bit more?