More

    Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch’s Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion

    The know what they're doing when it comes to the . Not to be outdone by Philadelphia, the Cowboys brought the 2018 Draft to , marking the first time the event's been held in an NFL stadium. This made Boise State the first player to be drafted on the field he now calls home. Returning home this week after two straight interceptions against the Eagles and Falcons, Vander Esch is far from the controversial pick that drew jeers inside AT&T Stadium on draft night and every bit the Cowboys projected him to be.

    The ascension of Leighton “Wolf Hunter” Vander Esch as one of the best young linebackers in the game has happened rapidly. LVE played eight man football in high school, tasked to do everything on both sides of the ball before settling into as a walk onto the blue turf.

    For the first time in what seems like forever, the Cowboys have more than just a plan to play defense without . Thanks to their 19th overall pick they're thriving as one of the best units in the league, making Lee an afterthought.

    Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch's Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion
    Dallas Cowboys LB , Leighton Vander Esch

    Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have changed the entire makeup of the Cowboys defense, two young and athletic linebackers that should be roaming the middle of the field for a long time in Dallas.

    This is exactly what LVE was able to do on his interceptions of both and . Vander Esch defending well against the pass is probably the least surprising part of his development, as his coverage skills always overshadowed his strength against the run in college.

    It just so happens that Vander Esch tallied 63 tackles in eight games before recording his first career interception, establishing himself as an all-around linebacker with no true weakness. Vander Esch has played with the power and block shedding ability that matches his sideline to sideline range and instincts, as opposing offenses have done little to slow the Cowboys new leader on defense.

    This is Vander Esch's first interception, which set up a Cowboys field goal against the Eagles. Watch as Leighton reads the eyes of Wentz through the play, first angling towards his check down throw and then gaining depth to intercept the pass.

    The subtle yet effective movements from Vander Esch to undercut Wentz's throw is a fine example of how quickly LVE has picked up on 's defense, as well as the next level game speed.

    Sunday's interception from Vander Esch was the type of game breaking play the Cowboys needed to separate from the Falcons in hostile territory. Although the Falcons would rally to tie the game after this point, the Cowboys defense became the first to hold Atlanta under 20 points at home this season, thanks in large part to LVE as always.

    The smoothness from Vander Esch on this play is exceptional, stepping up into coverage against the before sprinting back in position for the turnover. , drafted seven picks after Vander Esch, helps Leighton by letting Ryan's pass go through his hands.

    Give Vander Esch credit for being in the right place at the right time and finishing the play. Every week, the rookie finds a way to do something memorable, and in helping the Cowboys earn their first two road wins of 2018 he finally flashed in pass coverage.

    The next challenge for the Cowboys defense comes on a short week, against the division leading . Though they lost starting for the season on Sunday, expected to start Colt McCoy on , it was Running Back that gashed the Cowboys for 4.13 yards a carry and 99 total yards in the Redskins week six win over Dallas.

    Given what not only Leighton Vander Esch but the rest of the Cowboys defense has shown against the run in recent weeks, all without and most recently without either or Daniel Ross, the Cowboys should certainly be prepared to play for first place in the on Thursday.

    spot_imgspot_imgspot_img
    Sean Martin
    Sean Martinhttp://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/
    Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

    Latest

    Anthony Barr: The Man Who Lives In the Shadows

    This year, the Dallas Cowboys have been known for...

    Jerry Jones says Cowboys are ‘still working’ on a deal with Odell Beckham Jr.

    If you are tired of hearing about the Odell...

    The evolution of CeeDee Lamb: What the box score doesn’t show you

    5 receptions. 71 yards. 1 touchdown. Those aren't the kinds...

    Week 14 Preview: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys

    The Dallas Cowboys welcome the Houston Texans to town...

    Newsletter

    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Name:*
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Trending Now

    Where Was Micah Parsons in the Giants Game?

    Yes, Linebacker Micah Parsons did play against the New...

    Mike McCarthy Was Right: This Team Is Resilient

    Over two weeks ago, Cowboys fans sat in horror...

    Will Jalen Tolbert suit up again this season?

    The third-round pick out of South Alabama has been...

    Diggs Island – Trevon Diggs is entering elite status

    It’s hard to find a cornerback that is under...

    Fantasy Outlook: It’s Hard to Trust any Cowboys Player Next Season

    I am already looking forward to my fantasy football...

    The Star: Getting Inside the Dallas Cowboys New Home

    The Dallas Cowboys star logo is one of the...

    Cowboys Nostalgia: Before Jerry Jones

    25 years ago Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys...

    Cowboys Reveal New Uniforms for Week 17 vs Titans

    Another uniform emerges for the Dallas Cowboys to wear...

    Anthony Barr: The Man Who Lives In the Shadows

    This year, the Dallas Cowboys have been known for having the best defense in the NFL. Thanks to the help of a Linebacker named...

    The history of Micah Parsons

    Time to get to know another Cowboy a little bit better. Linebacker Micah Parsons is up for a detailed look at his entire football...

    Cowboys football: Midseason grades for every postion group

    As we stand at the half-point of this year's NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys sit nice and pretty at 6-2. Personally, I never envisioned...

    1 COMMENT

    1 Comment
    Oldest
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Steve

    Our BOYZ gonna take dem Skins down on Turkey Day!