Cowboys' Shaquille Leonard Interest Confirmed After Rumors

The Dallas Cowboys' interest in free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard appears to be confirmed after initial rumors.
Oct 15, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53)
Oct 15, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

It's Week 12 of the season, but that doesn't mean the Dallas Cowboys are done tweaking their roster. Injuries have opened up several unexpected holes on the depth, including at linebacker with Leighton Vander Esch recently ruled out for the rest of the year.

The Indianapolis Colts' surprise release of LB Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday has suddenly made a possible Vander Esch replacement available. Dallas stood out as an immediate potential landing spot, and these sides joining forces appears to be more than just a theory.

Cowboys News: Shaq Leonard Rumors Confirmed

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday the Cowboys are "kicking the tires" on adding Leonard. Moore added it's not necessarily an aggressive type of pursuit right now, though.

Regardless, this confirms Dallas as a possible Leonard destination at the very least. There were some early whispers that put Jerry Jones' squad in the conversation, but this report shows the team is actively assessing the situation.

It makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys to make a run at Leonard. He was an absolute game-wrecker at the height of his powers, earning three First Team All-Pro nods over his first four seasons in the league.

Injuries have, unfortunately, sapped some of Leonard's special talent. After racking up 30 pass breakups, 11 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles and 15.0 sacks from 2018-2021, he's failed to record even one in any of those categories this season.

While he might not be an elite playmaker anymore, he's still an accomplished, experienced player who could provide solid depth. Leonard has played in nine of 10 games this season and recorded 65 total tackles, so he's still able to help in other ways.

Signing Leonard would just give defensive coordinator Dan Quinn another toy to play with on his stacked unit. He'd absolutely be able to maximize whatever the veteran can produce at this stage of his career, which would only strengthen that side of the ball for Dallas.

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