Jerry Jones Eyes Shaquille Leonard as Dallas' Defensive Darling Amid Free Agency Frenzy

Jerry Jones Eyes Shaquille Leonard as Dallas' Defensive Darling Amid Free Agency FrenzySource: All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Isabella Rodriguez
Published on November 29, 2023

It’s a high-stakes Texas hold 'em of NFL talent as Shaquille Leonard, a linebacking ace in the rough, met up with Dallas Cowboys' bigwig Jerry Jones over a power lunch that had tongues in the sports world wagging. Jones, who doubles as the owner and general manager of the squad, sang Leonard's praises following a physical at the Cowboys medical center on Tuesday—a rendezvous where they assessed if he still had the defensive chops that once terrorized offenses league-wide, according to WFAA.

Having recently been cut from the Colts roster, Leonard finds himself in the somewhat enviable, somewhat precarious position of courting other teams, with the Cowboys showing fervent interest. "It’s not real hard to look and see what a player [Leonard has] been," Jones stated, "He’s been outstanding during his career." Although their chat was surely as juicy as a medium-rare steak at Dallas' finest chophouse, no deal was clinched post-meal—leaving fans to wonder whether Jerry's appetite for a deal was truly satiated, as reported by WFAA.

Leonard's stopover in Dallas was only part of his free agency tour. Next would be a parley with the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite a dazzling resume, the stalwart 'backer's recent back woes—a nerve issue that benched him for most of last season—are casting a pall over what once would have been a contract slam dunk. In fact, his spat of health hiccups forced him under the knife twice in just six months, as per Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

But don't mistake Jerry Jones for being all spit and no shine. The Cowboy in Chief has eyes wide open, knowing full well that the linebacker, who once galloped over gridirons with ease, might not be in vintage form. Jones quipped, "Where he is healthwise is what it’s all about as far as evaluating anything." And evaluate they will, as the Cowboys ponder whether Leonard's shrewd pigskin acumen can fortify a roster already shaken by the loss of Leighton Vander Esch to a neck injury, as reported by Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Nonetheless, Jerry's heart isn't just stuck in playbooks and pigskins; the magnanimous mogul also dished out well-wishes to Dak Prescott, the team's signal caller, who's prepping for daddy duties with a baby girl on the way. "No one deserves that any more so in his life than Dak," Jones said, as per WFAA.