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Dallas Cowboys miss out on free agent LB Shaq Leonard

Shaq Leonard did not choose the Dallas Cowboys.

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are signing free agent LB Shaquille Leonard to a one-year contract, according to sources.

This comes after the Indianapolis Colts surprisingly waived the veteran two weeks ago. Leonard visited both the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys last week and wanted to wait until the conclusion of Week 13 to make his decision.

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys had the first meeting with Leonard, expressing their interest in his services early in the process. The Cowboys felt that Leonard could have improved the team’s depth at the position, and potentially even have an impact right away. However, the Philadelphia Eagles also expressed significant interest heading into the weekend, as they felt their position was thin as well. After Sunday’s blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, it became even more apparent how much they needed help at the position. The Eagles defense gave up 42 points, 310 passing yards, and 146 rushing yards against the high-powered 49ers offense.

There are several potential reasons why Leonard chose the Eagles over the Cowboys. It was clear that Leonard wanted to join a contender where he believed he could have an immediate impact. While it would have been a luxury for Dan Quinn to be able to add an experienced linebacker such as Leonard, the emergence of Markquese Bell and Damone Clark at the position doesn’t make it a dire need. For the Eagles however, they need a player who can immediately start for them at the position, and can elevate their defense.

Regardless of the reason, it stings for Cowboys fans to see a player publicly choose to play for the Eagles over them. Leonard couldn’t have chose a more intriguing week to make the decision, as the Cowboys host the Eagles on Sunday in a big-time NFC East rematch.

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