Dallas Cowboys make critical decision on linebacker Leighton Vander Esch following injury

According to Mike McCarthy, it was expected that the Dallas Cowboys would move starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch from Injured Reserve to Injured reserve on Thursday. The veteran sustained a neck injury during Sunday’s defeat to the San Francisco 49ers. An MRI confirmed that he will need some time to recover.

Vander Esch tallied 30 tackles in the first five games, including 17 solo stops. Vander Esch has recovered one fumble. He left the game on Sunday with 10 tackles including one for a loss.

Vander Esch is now in his sixth year with Dallas. He was a first-round pick out of Boise State. Last season, he missed three Cowboys games due to neck pain. In the same way, he missed seven games during the 2019 season.

The time he will lose is significant. The league requires that all IR players miss at least four weeks. The Cowboys will play the Rams, Eagles, and Giants in that time span.

Vander Esch signed a deal with the Cowboys for a two-year contract worth $11m in the offseason. This contract was signed in March, after he had spent the 2022 season on a 1-year deal. He had 90 tackles during the regular season in 2022. He had 20 stops, a sack, and six tackles-for-loss in the playoffs.

CJ Goodwin , cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys, tore his pectoral muscles in Sunday’s defeat to the 49ers. Due to the injury, the star of special teams will miss the entire 2023 season. Goodwin signed an exclusive one-year contract with Dallas during the offseason.

The former California Vulcan is credited with four tackles this season, including the one he made in Sunday’s game.

Goodwin signed a deal worth $3.5 million for two years to play the seasons of 2021 and 2022. In 2020 and 2021, he was the leader of special teams tackles for the team. He then had an eight-tackle year in 2022.

Goodwin is a native of West Virginia. He played college football for three different colleges before joining the Steelers in 2014 as a free undrafted agent. He signed a three-year deal for $1.53million with the Steelers, but was ultimately waived.

He is now in his eighth NFL season. He has worked for Pittsburgh, Atlanta Arizona, New York Cincinnati and San Francisco. His longest tenure was in Dallas. Goodwin began his Cowboys’ career in 2018, playing in just three games. He became a regular in 2019.

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