The Duel

Cowboys Get Amazing News With Leighton Vander Esch Injury Update

Max Staley
Leighton Vander Esch is making a much-needed return from injury.
Leighton Vander Esch is making a much-needed return from injury. / Rob Leiter/Getty Images
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The Dallas Cowboys are finally getting some good injury-related news. Star third-year linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will be making his return against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.

Even though he's likely to be eased back into action, his presence should be a huge boost for a defense that sorely needs one.

Vander Esch hasn't played since fracturing his collar bone in Week 1. It's unrealistic to expect a full game out of the Boise State product, but Dallas will take what it can get this week. The Cowboys are currently surrendering a league-worst 36.0 points per game (PPG), and they've also been a bottom-10 run defense, per Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics.

Even in a limited workload, Vander Esch's presence should help this front seven right the ship. The last time we saw a full 16-game season out of the 24-year-old (2018), Pro Football Focus gave him the third-highest grade among all linebackers with at least 750 snaps played.

That's exactly the kind of talent this defense has been missing.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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