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Leighton Vander Esch expected to return for the playoffs

First and foremost before I get into any details below, my thoughts and prayers are with Damar Hamlin and his family.

It is hard to talk football right now with the unknown lingering. I don't know nearly enough to speak on it. Just know my thoughts and prayers are with him.

Leighton Vander Esch

Whenever we see the begin for the Cowboys they will likely get back one of their best players on the defensive side of the ball.

Whether it is weekend or the , , the former , is expected to be ready for the playoffs. A well-needed boost for the Cowboys' .

LVE will miss this week's game Sunday. I have yet to see anything regarding week 18 matchups.

Missing will be his second straight after he suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder/neck in the overtime loss against the on Dec. 18.

An update from those close to the team on Monday said he felt good. “I'm just focused on helping the team this week with this game and getting everybody locked in and ready,” Vander Esch said.

The former All-Pro has been wildly underappreciated this season. He has 90 tackles (54 solo), a forced fumble, and one sack on the season.

In the absence of Vander Esch, the Cowboys have seen rookie .

Clark returned to the football field this season after spinal fusion surgery. Since returning, he has shown flashes. Totaling 44 tackles (27 solo) and two forced fumbles.

The Wolf Hunter is critical in helping the Cowboys stop the run. He covers sideline to sideline well. His play well this season could earn him a new contract after many thought this would be his last season in Cowboys uniform.

We know the Cowboys' will score points against whomever they play in the postseason. They are averaging 36 (a league-high) since returned from .

We are now questioning what was once the teams biggest strength going into the playoffs. Didn't see myself doing that. LVE needs to be out there. 

have played a part in the regression, but they have definitely taken a step back from what we saw in the early/middle part of the season. 

If Dallas plays Sunday, they may pull the starters at the half, depending on what happens during the Eagles game. If this week is played (as mentioned, I have no idea what will happen), then both games will be played at 3:25 CT.

LVE is going to be needed to play at a high level when the playoffs start. If he can he will not only help them win games when it matters, but he lock up a new contract with the team this .

The Cowboys should also welcome back for the playoffs also. Both will help. A bigger problem still looms on the backend of the defense.

Football is second right now to the situation that happened Monday night, let's hope everything ends in a positive outcome.

Shane Taylor
Shane Taylor
Cowboys fan from the Midwest. Writing is fun, Staff writer for Inside The Star. Follow me on twitter @ShaneTaylor43

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