The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles' pursuit of Shaquille Leonard served as the appetizer for Sunday night's highly-anticipated rematch at AT&T Stadium.
On Monday, the saga concluded as Leonard signed with the Eagles.
The news wasn't all that surprising if you've read the tea leaves following his Cowboys visit. Jerry Jones' comments on Leonard didn't inspire confidence, while Mike McCarthy told reporters on Monday that he hadn't heard anything in terms of which way Leonard was leaning. The lack of clarity told its own story.
While there's no reason to freak out over Leonard picking Philly, it still leaves the Cowboys worryingly thin at linebacker. You have to think the front office will reassess its options and possibly even explore signing a player outside the building.
According to 105.3 The Fan's Bryan Broaddus, a name to keep an eye on in that regard is old friend Anthony Barr.
Cowboys Rumors: Dallas to sign Anthony Barr after Shaq Leonard picked Eagles?
Our guess is Cowboys fans won't be thrilled by this, which is ironic because a number of fans celebrated when he signed with Dallas last year. He was seen as an ideal backup who could bring pass-rushing upside to the second-level of the defense.
When all was said and done, Barr racked up 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one sack, eight pressures and 26 run stops in 14 games (10 starts). He received a 59.7 grade by Pro Football Focus and really struggled in coverage, allowing 20 catches on 25 targets for 210 yards and a 115.0 passer rating
Luckily, the Cowboys wouldn't sign Barr to play in coverage. Their current starters at linebacker -- Markquese Bell and Damone Clark -- have the desired athleticism to fill that role and seemingly will handle the lion's share of snaps on passing downs. That likely would have been the plan had Dallas signed Leonard.
Barr is currently on the Vikings practice squad, so signing the veteran will require some thievery and roster-shuffling by the Cowboys. Players can't be signed directly from one practice squad to another. They either have to be released, or get signed directly to another's team's active 53-man roster.
The Cowboys recently signed LB Rashaan Evans to the active roster, so a string of roster moves will be required in order to sign Barr. That's notable, as tight end Peyton Hendershot's 21-day practice window closes this week. If Hendershot isn't activated, he'll go back on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
Moving parts aside, Broaddus is a former Cowboys scout who seemingly still has sources in the building.
This also isn't the first time there's been mention of Dallas eyeing a Barr reunion. The market now that Leonard has signed with the Eagles is barren and there's something to be said that Barr knows Dan Quinn's system.
At this point in the calendar, that might be all that matters.
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