It's not often that late-season free-agent signings make big waves, but one of them did this week.
Former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard was released two weeks ago, then took a pair of visits to NFC East rivals in the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. On Monday, Leonard signed with Philly.
During his weekly radio appearance, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered his theory as to why Leonard made that decision, and indicated that he did not think it was a salary issue.
"There was absolutely never any money mentioned, I met with him, had lunch with him and had a good visit with him, but there was never a financial issue at all," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "So, that wasn't the case in any way, he apparently wanted to go where he thought he had the best chance. I certainly recognize and honor his decision there. It never was an issue for us regarding our confidence that we've got in our linebackers."
Making matters more interesting -- even beyond a pair of teams competing for a division title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC -- is the fact that the Cowboys and Eagles are set to play each other on "Sunday Night Football" this weekend.
"We very easily could see him out here against us Sunday," Jones said. "I just have to almost step back when I think about man, these are the times we're in when a player like that could be available and pick his team -- which he can and does -- and be on the field within three or four days. It's just a unique period of time. Not in any way -- if I sound like I'm complaining, I'm not -- but that's just unique to me to think he can hit the ground running and be out there playing against us Sunday."
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Philadelphia's linebacker play has been an issue all season, and especially in recent weeks with Zach Cunningham out. The problems were on display during the team's blowout loss against the 49ers last weekend, and the Eagles have to be hoping that Leonard can help them turn things around in time for a divisional showdown that will determine which team controls first place in the NFC East heading into the stretch run of the season.