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Leighton Vander Esch done for season

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 14 Nov 2023, 11:28 AM EST
Leighton Vander Esch Headshot

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that LB Leighton Vander Esch will miss the rest of the season with the neck injury that landed him on IR. Jones declined to say whether it might end the LB's career. Vander Esch has dealt with neck issues since college and sustained multiple injuries during his Dallas run. We'd bet that he's seriously considering whether to shut it down, at 27 and after six years in the league. We'll watch for further updates on that. For this year's Cowboys, the news means Damone Clark should lead the LB playing time the rest of the way. S/LB Markquese Bell has been running as the second LB since LVE went down. Bell's playing time appeared to decline sharply in Sunday's win over the Giants, though. We'll have to see this week how much of that came from the odd game script of the completely one-sided victory. For now, Bell is best left out of most IDP lineups. Clark looks like a weekly LB3 with upside into LB2 territory.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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