Three-time All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard is scheduled to visit the #Cowboys on Tuesday, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 27, 2023
Dallas is thin on linebacker depth, and Leonard wouldn’t cost much with the #Colts on the hook for his salary. pic.twitter.com/bWCtP3fnwc
Of course, the Colts garnered national headlines last week when they surprisingly released the underperforming starting veteran captain in-season—who unfortunately doesn’t appear to have fully recovered physically from two back surgeries and lingering lower leg nerve issues.
That being said, there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings currently between Leonard and the Colts organization, as ‘the Maniac’ was thanked for his contributions as an honorary visitor in a team suite at Lucas Oil Stadium during the team’s victory Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If he signs with the Dallas Cowboys, Leonard has a chance to upgrade to a Super Bowl contender, while playing for highly regarded defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The Cowboys recently lost starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch for the season due to a neck injury, so Leonard could presumably provide a starting veteran option in the interim.
While Leonard clearly isn’t moving around like he used to both speed-wise and athletically, the instincts, play recognition, and knack for finding the football are still there. Additionally, he was miscast as the ‘Will’ linebacker in Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme.
Perhaps, he will be more comfortable potentially playing linebacker in Quinn’s stalwart Cowboys defense—which is among the league’s best. He’d also reunite with former Colts teammates Stephon Gilmore and Malik Hooker in Dallas.
As long as it doesn’t interfere with the Colts (*or he ends up on the New England Patriots), I for one will be rooting for Leonard regardless of where his next stop is. He was a great player and leader for the Horseshoe, as well as a standup individual in his communities.