Cowboys make their plans for Leighton Vander Esch perfectly clear


The Dallas Cowboys have a plan for linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this upcoming season.

Despite declining his fifth-year option, the Dallas Cowboys have a plan in mind for fourth-year pro Leighton Vander Esch.

According to The NFL Network’s Jane Slater, while the Cowboys have received trade offers for the former Boise State standout, they are not all that interested in moving on from the linebacker. Dallas plans to use Vander Esch in the revamped Cowboys defense under new coordinator Dan Quinn. With this being a prove-it year for Vander Esch, he needs to come up big for the Cowboys.

We should know very quickly if Vander Esch is part of the Cowboys’ long-term plans beyond 2021.

Dallas Cowboys have made their plans for Leighton Vander Esch crystal clear

In three years with the Cowboys, Vander Esch has played in 35 games and made 30 starts. However, he has not played in more than 10 in the last two years since his Pro Bowl nod during his 2018 rookie season where he played in all 16 games. Since the Cowboys are only paying him a little over $2 million in base salary this season, it is not a financial priority to move his contract.

Frankly, unless the Cowboys can get a great offer for a player on an expiring contract, they should just probably roll with Vander Esch this season and see what happens. If he balls out, he might be worth bringing back on a new deal at the right price. Should he have another injury-plagued season, the Dallas should have no issues with letting him walk during his free agency next spring.

With a new defensive coordinator in town, it makes sense to stick with Vander Esch this season.

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