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NFL Network's Jane Slater reports that Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will have "minimally invasive surgery" within the next few weeks to fix the nerve issue in his neck that ended his season early. Dallas expects Vander Esch to be back "long before camp." Veteran LB Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option for Week 17, coming off 17 tackles in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out once again. He hasn't played since Week 11. Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option in LVE's absence.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee (pec, thigh) is active for today's game against the Rams. He'll play starter-level snaps with Leighton Vander Esch out, but could be in line for less playing time than the past few weeks given issues that kept Lee out of practice all week. He's merely a low-end IDP starting option.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee missed practice all week while dealing with pectoral and thigh injuries, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Lee is "planning to go" against the Rams today. An active Lee would still carry some risk of decreased playing time. Even with Leighton Vander Esch out the past 3 weeks, Lee played 68%, 85% and 83% of the defensive snaps. Consider Lee no more than a LB3 for IDP lineups.

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out for Sunday's game against the Bears. That has meant starter level playing time for LB Sean Lee. The veteran (pectoral) is questionable for Week 15. We'll check his status Sunday afternoon.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch didn't practice Wednesday. HC Jason Garrett called him "day-to-day" afterward, according to the team website, adding that "it might be a little bit of time" before he can get back onto the field. Vander Esch is nursing a neck injury that seems to carry more long-term concern than immediate. Don't bet on him returning for your Week 15 IDP lineup. We'll see how things progress. Sean Lee becomes an IDP option whenever Vander Esch sits.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revealed on his Tuesday radio show that LB Leighton Vander Esch likely won't play against the Bills on Thanksgiving because of the neck injury that cost him last week. Jones refused to comment on LVE's outlook beyond Week 13, according to David Helman of the team website. Vander Esch's absence makes LB Sean Lee a startable IDP commodity against Buffalo.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys expect LB Leighton Vander Esch to miss practice Friday because of a back injury. "The team will continue to monitor it, but at this point, he's not slated to play Sunday," he reports. That would mean elevated playing time for LB Sean Lee, who delivered top-10 fantasy numbers when Vander Esch missed the Monday night game against the Giants. We'll watch this situation through the weekend.

Update: The Cowboys have officially ruled Vander Esch out.

As expected, Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) is inactive for tonight's game against the Giants. Vander Esch put in limited practices all week but turned up questionable, and it was reported early in the weekend that Dallas didn't expect him to play. We'll see where the injury goes from here. Sean Lee gets the start with LVE out, and Joe Thomas joins the lineup on the other side.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch is questionable for Monday night’s game against the Giants. ESPN reports, however, that he’s likely to miss the game with his neck injury. That should mean more playing time for LB Sean Lee, whom we’ve added to our Week 9 IDP rankings

Cowboys LB Sean Lee is active for today's game against the Colts after missing the past 5 contests with a hamstring injury. Lee told NFL Network's Jane Slater that he won't be starting, though, after telling the team that he doesn't want to disrupt the development of rookie teammate Leighton Vander Esch. IDP owners should go ahead and use Vander Esch as normal and ignore Lee for Week 15 IDP usage.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee is officially questionable for Sunday's game at Indianapolis. Mike Fisher of CBS reports that the team plans to play Lee in a limited role, with Leighton Vander Esch continuing to start on the weak side and Jaylon Smith continuing to play full time in the middle. Lee's return adds a bit of risk to LVE, but we'd keep him in IDP lineups in most cases. The rookie has proved he can deliver numbers even on less than full playing time.

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett told reporters Monday that he expects LB Sean Lee to return to limited practice this week. The last time Lee did so this season (also off a hamstring injury), he returned to game action that weekend. Should Lee be ready to face the Colts this Sunday, Dallas coaches would need to decide how he fits back in. Rookie Leighton Vander Esch has filled in for Lee on the weak side, and the defense has played well. Jerry Jones said last week on 105.3 The Fan in Texas that Lee would "rotate" in with Smith and Vander Esch when he returned. Let's just hope we get a clear picture of the plan before the weekend so that we can set our IDP lineups accordingly.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Cowboys OLB Sean Lee could miss 4-6 weeks with his latest hamstring strain. That makes Leighton Vander Esch a strong pickup where available in IDP leagues and a high-end starting option for Week 10's positive scoring matchup with the Eagles.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee will "probably be out for a little bit" after re-injuring his left hamstring in Monday night's loss to the Titans, HC Jason Garrett said after the game. We'll see just how long this absence lasts. It's the same hamstring, though, cost Lee 3 games earlier this season. Leighton Vander Esch will re-enter the lineup. He topped 90% playing time in each of the 3 games Lee missed earlier. Vander Esch is worth picking up in most IDP leagues.

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