5 Dallas Cowboys that are shining despite a poor record

Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s been a forgettable season for the Dallas Cowboys, but these diamonds shine

No one is proud to say their favorite football team has a losing record. Because of countless injuries, the Dallas Cowboys and their fans should be optimistic for future seasons. That’s because, despite having a horrifying record, there are bright spots on their roster.

Why would bright spots on the roster matter? Well, these players can carry their momentum into the 2021 season. Add that with some high draft picks and a healthy roster, and the Cowboys should have a very competitive team. Well, here are the players that have stood out.

5. player. 123. . . . Leighton Vander Esch, LB

For a long time, linebacker Sean Lee had been running the defense. Injuries have plagued his career, but when healthy, he was one of the better linebackers in the league. With age getting to him, he passed the torch to Dallas’ 2018 first-round pick, Leighton Vander Esch.

It’s safe to say that the Cowboys and their fans are happy to have him on the team. The issue isn’t his play, but rather his health. It seems as if Lee passed that onto him as well.

LVE missed four games already this season due to a broken collarbone. He only played in the first quarter of the Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams before going down. His return came in Week 6 with limited snaps.

It was a slow return for the Boise State product, but he looks healthy now. He shines even more as questions continue to surround his other half at linebacker in Jaylon Smith.

It should come to no one’s surprise that when Vander Esch returned from his injury, the defense began to play better. The three games from Week 8 to Week 11 were when the defense played their best.

Don’t get me wrong, the team is still having a lot of struggles defensively, but you can see LVE around the ball all game. That may be either making the tackle, forcing the ball carrier to run elsewhere, or being the communicator on the team.

While he is not accumulating as many tackles as he used to, he is still an impact player.  So far this season, he is averaging 6.4 tackles per game. That is down from averaging eight tackles per game last season.

He is playing better against the pass, forcing opposing quarterbacks to look elsewhere to throw the ball. There have been only 11 passes thrown in his direction, with nine of them being completed. Not one of those completions allowed was a touchdown.

I expect Vander Esch to continue being a crucial piece to the Dallas Cowboys defense. He is still only 24-years-old and has more potential.