It’s tough to hand out a game ball after a performance like the one the Dallas Cowboys produced against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys offense stalled again, never really clicking until late in the game, then turnovers stymied those efforts to get back in the game. The defense wasn’t as sharp as it has been the last two weeks, especially since they were up against a Seattle offensive line that was banged-up and playing poorly in 2018.
Still, there were some Cowboys that had decent games. This week, one player is proving his worth as a first-round pick, and that’s Leighton Vander Esch. It’s too early to say for sure, but there are hints that he’s a playmaker.
Last week, in only 28 snaps, he had seven tackles and did an excellent job of bringing down the ball-carrier when he got his hands on him. This week, LVE was forced into more snaps because of Sean Lee’s hamstring issue. We don’t have the exact snap counts yet, but LVE lead the team with nine solo tackles and tied with Lee for the team lead with 11 total tackles (LVE had nine solo, two assists; Lee had five solo, six assists). He had one tackle for loss.
When you look at what he did last week and his performance on Sunday, the trajectory is definitely in the right direction. And that is important given Lee’s hamstring. Lee was shut down in the second half and after the game didn’t sound extremely optimistic about it.
“We’ll see where it’s at; get (evaluation) tomorrow from the docs; hopefully, it will be a quick turnaround,” he said after the game. “Obviously very frustrated. Just part of playing football.”
“(The injury) just happened running around and going after the quarterback; just felt something,” Lee said.
We know how Lee’s struggles to stay healthy, and they may have to shut him down for a bit so the hamstring will have time to truly heal.
If that happens, solid play from Vander Esch will be crucial if the Cowboys defense hopes to keep the form it showed in the first two weeks.