Cowboys’ Vander Esch Out for Season, Career in Question

Cowboys' LB Leighton Vander Esch in 2019
Cowboys' LB Leighton Vander Esch in September 2019. Photo by Albert Pena/CSM/Shutterstock(10421051w)

The Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is set to miss the rest of the season after a recurring neck injury. This ongoing health issue has also brought his career into question.

“He’s an integral part of that defense out there,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said of the linebacker. “We just wish him well, and just the nature of his potential injury here causes me to really think longer term and beyond what it means for next week or beyond what it means for next month. It has everything to do with what’s best in his interest.”

After jamming his neck during October 8’s 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Vander Esch was eligible to return from injured reserve this week, however, his pain persisted. His neck issues began in 2018 before he was drafted by the Cowboys, and in 2019, he underwent a fusion procedure after missing seven of the final nine games of the season.

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