Leighton Vander Esch
Leighton Vander Esch
23-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Dallas Cowboys
Questionable
Injury Neck
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Linebacker duos don't come much more established than Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith were last year, yet Vander Esch emphatically introduced himself as the Cowboys' top linebacker as a rookie, with 140 tackles on just 784 snaps. Some of those stops occurred on special teams, where he played 181 snaps (a figure that will drop in 2019), but even if last year's tackle rate is significantly lowered, Vander Esch projects for gigantic totals now that he'll have a three-down role all year. At 6-4, 256, with elite athleticism, Vander Esch might be the Brian Urlacher of this era. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $11.85 million contract with the Cowboys in May of 2018.
Escapes without serious injury
LBDallas Cowboys
Neck
October 21, 2019
Vander Esch (neck) is not expected to be nursing a major injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Vander Esch reportedly suffered a neck stinger during Sunday's win over the Eagles. While he was unable to return to the game, it does not appear as though the second-year pro is in danger of missing time. Vander Esch will look to suit up against the Giants in Week 9 following the Cowboys' bye, barring any setbacks in his recovery.
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NFL Stats
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Dallas CowboysCowboys 2019 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

412
234
391
207
188
143
102
66
11
3
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2019 Leighton Vander Esch Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do Leighton Vander Esch's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 4"
 
Weight
256 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.15 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.88 sec
 
Vertical Jump
39.5 in
 
Broad Jump
124 in
 
Bench Press
20 reps
 
Hand Length
9.75 in
 
Arm Length
44.88 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Leighton Vander Esch
Streaming Defenses: Week 2 Options
42 days ago
J.J. Watt should get the best of Gardner Minshew, but fantasy owners looking ahead to Week 3 might prefer the Cowboys or Bills instead of the Texans.
IDP Analysis: Identifying Values at Linebacker
92 days ago
In his second of three articles, Jim Coventry aims to help IDP owners find good LB values, like Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David, on draft day.
Draft Day Final Mock
Draft Day Final Mock
180 days ago
180 days ago
John McKechnie offers his final mock with the first round of the NFL Draft on tap for Thursday. Mississippi's D.K. Metcalf is a unique receiver prospect, but is he at risk of falling out of the first round?
Exploiting the Matchups: Week 17 Start/Sit
299 days ago
Trust players with playoff stakes on the line in Week 17, including the Eagles' Nick Foles. Luke Hoover has several other competitors in mind.
Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Options
308 days ago
Following a Week 15 shutout win on the road, the Titans return home for a cupcake matchup with Josh Johnson and the injury-ravaged Redskins.
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Vander Esch joins a Cowboys linebacking corps packed with talent but also fraught with uncertainty. The Boise State product has outstanding speed and athleticism for his size, giving him plenty of upside in a three-down role as he racks up tackles, handles coverage assignments and makes the occasional blitzing foray. Whether he sees a three-down role on a roster that already features oft-injured Sean Lee and third-year LB Jaylon Smith is the big question, but Dallas' initial depth chart lists the rookie as the starting middle linebacker, seemingly putting him ahead of Smith in nickel packages. There were also concerns about a possible neck issue prior to the draft, but the Cowboys presumably didn't consider him a health risk when they used a first-round pick on him. If the workload is there for Vander Esch, elite production could follow.
More Fantasy News
Officially ruled out
LBDallas Cowboys
Neck
October 20, 2019
Vander Esch (neck) has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's clash against the Eagles, Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal reports.
ANALYSIS
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Heads to locker room with injury
LBDallas Cowboys
Upper Body
October 20, 2019
Vander Esch suffered a neck injury Sunday against the Eagles and had to go to the locker room, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Paces team in tackles
LBDallas Cowboys
October 14, 2019
Vander Esch notched 10 tackles (three solo) during Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Jets.
ANALYSIS
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Ready for Week 6
LBDallas Cowboys
October 11, 2019
Vander Esch (illness) won't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Jets, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Can't practice Thursday
LBDallas Cowboys
Illness
October 10, 2019
Vander Esch (illness) won't practice Thursday, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
ANALYSIS
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