Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch underwent surgery on his neck on Tuesday with the expectation that he will be available during the offseason program, according to multiple sources. Vander Esch missed seven games with the injury. The hope was he could avoid surgery with rest, but opted for a non-invasive procedure to alleviate the nerve issues he had been dealing with.
After an outstanding rookie season, Vander Esch seemed to take a step backwards last year, but there was always a suspicion that his neck problems had a lot to do with that. Getting him healthy and looking more like he did in 2018 would be very positive news. Now he will be working with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who was the linebackers coach at his last two stops with the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints. Having Vander Esch available for the entire offseason program will help him learn the changes that could come. Nolan is also probably eager to see if such a talented player can return to his prior form.
Hopefully, this procedure will help with what has been a problem for Vander Esch going back to his college days. If healthy, he can be a real asset to the Cowboys.