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Can Leighton Vander Esch Get Back To His Rookie-Form In 2020?

Where in the world is Leighton Vander Esch?

It’s been the hot question on the minds of Cowboys fans over the last six months, with Vander Esch missing the second half of the 2019 season due to neck surgery.

“Neck surgery” is a pretty scary phrase to hear in football, especially considering how quiet things have been around Vander Esch since he’s been recovering. This week, however, we finally got some word from the man himself.

Vander Esch joined Jane Slater’s “The ‘Boys and Girl Podcast,” seeming optimistic about his status for the 2020 season.

“I’ve been training full-go for a couple of months now, so it’s not holding me back whatsoever. I feel, like I said, just as good as I ever have. I’m just excited to play football at this point and get back on the field” – Leighton Vander Esch

While the Cowboys dominated the Eagles in October of last year, Vander Esch suffered what would become this season ending injury. Despite trying to fight back into the lineup, he could never really get healthy again, ultimately forced to sit out every game after the team’s victory over Detroit.

Now, though, it sounds like Vander Esch is getting ready to go. And boy does the Cowboys defense need him to be 100%.

Dallas lost some key talent on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, namely Robert Quinn and Byron Jones. Their pass defense as a whole is a big question mark heading into the season, so having both Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith play to their full potentials will be key if the Cowboys are to be real Super Bowl contenders in 2020.

DeMarcus Lawrence is a bonafide stud, and getting Aldon Smith’s reinstatement news was certainly a boost to the ceiling of this defense. But there’s still no question that their defense is the weaker of the two main units, making Leighton Vander Esch’s health of the upmost importance.

We all know the Cowboys offense has the talent to put up big numbers, but they’ll certainly need Vander Esch and company to be serviceable on the defensive side of the ball.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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  1. Safe to say the entire D is a question mark given re-loaded line, new coaching staff with new philosophy needing to be implemented in a COVID19 quarantine off-season, new CBs and Safety FA additions, plus draft additions. Soooooo, LVE back to rookie performance would help but so much more to consider – WAIT & SEE til training camp.

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