Cowboys jump Eagles in Shaquille Leonard pursuit, host LB Tuesday

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are hosting free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard at The Star on Tuesday with plans for lunch and an extensive medical review.

Jones said Tuesday morning on his weekly spot with 105.3 FM The Fan that Leonard was in Dallas and a review of his medical history was underway.

Leonard was waived by the Colts two days before Thanksgiving after starting nine games this season, but a team physical and medical signoff are significant steps to bringing him on board.

Injuries limited him to three games in 2022. He had season-ending back surgery last November.

NFC East rival Philadelphia pursued Leonard almost immediately with injuries at the position and a history between the 28-year-old and Eagles coach Nick Sirianni from his time in Indianapolis. But Leonard is in Dallas first with plans to head to Philadelphia later in the week, ESPN reported. The Athletic reported the Eagles are keeping tabs on Leonard but claimed no visit was set as of Tuesday morning.

Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is on injured reserve with a neck injury and out for the season, Jones confirmed on Nov. 14.

Eagles middle linebacker Nakobe Dean is on injured reserve and Zach Cunningham (hamstring) underwent testing to determine the severity of his injury this week. Christian Elliss replaced Cunningham against Buffalo on Sunday.

Leonard became the highest-paid linebacker in the league in August 2021 when he signed a five-year, $98.5 million extension. The Colts are on the hook for nearly $27 million in dead-cap money.

A three-time All-Pro, Leonard has totaled 614 tackles, 17 forced fumbles, 15 sacks and 12 interceptions in 70 games (68 starts) since Indianapolis drafted him in the second round in 2018.