Former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall will be taking another free-agent visit to the Cowboys, CHQ has confirmed, after visiting with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. And this hookup should be taken as a sign. Or two.
The Cowboys attention for secondary help is shifting quickly. Nolan Carroll is heading back to Philly on a one-year deal and Mo Claiborne is back announcing his goal to "be the best'' and along with the Hall talks, that's pretty CB-heavy ... especially compared to where Dallas seems to be on free-agent safeties, with Fish reporting as long ago as last Thursday that the Cowboys were investigating Eric Weddle knowing all along he'd be too expensive.
Ah, but what if Dashon Goldson, the two-time Pro Bowl safety, is cheap? (Amid reports that he'd going to visit Valley Ranch, we hear the opposite - that there is no meeting scheduled.) And meanwhile, along comes Hall, who has spent his entire career with the Bengals, after being selected as the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft from the University of Michigan.
At 31 years old with a 5-11, 195-pound frame, Hall was moved into a more reserve role in 2015. This was the first time in Hall’s career where he was primarily used as a slot cornerback, playing 88.8 percent of snaps. Hall finished the 2015 season with 55 tackles and 2 interceptions.
According to Bengals writer Joe Goodberry, despite being reduced to a nickle cornerback, Hall is still physical, presses well, and is one of the best tackling corners in the NFL today. Despite battling multiple Achilles injuries, Hall has recorded 470 combined tackles and 26 interceptions over his nine-year career.
Bonus: Hall may be a slot-only corner at this point in his career, but he does possess flexibility at the safety position as well as experience returning kicks. “I’m not taking that out of the scenario” said Hall via Local 12 in June of 2015. “If that time comes and they feel like it’s necessary (to move to safety) I wouldn’t retire because of it…The more you can do the better. If I feel I can succeed at it and it helps the team, I’m all for it.”
That time isn't necessarily near for the Cowboys, though the Hall pursuit does come with signals. Dallas is trying to land cornerback help, maybe over safety help. ... though Goldson (his visit first reported by Ian Rapoport) remains nothing more than a rumor right now.
(Maybe there is safety help at the top of the draft, where former Falcons personnel boss Lionel Vital can assist, as he's just been hired by the Cowboys personnel department in a role sources tell CHQ will be college-focused.) And Dallas is building defensive-back insurance policies that can allow flexibility on the field and cap-related options (including Brandon Carr), too. Help at cornerback. Help at safety. All in a cap-friendly manner.