Dallas Cowboys: 1 bold prediction for each positional group
Prediction: Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith will remain on the Dallas roster all season long
This one might not age well, but here it goes …
The linebacker position was a hot topic in Dallas before the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s been lava ever since. That after the Cowboys used their first-round draft pick to select Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
Then they used their top selection on Day Three to nab LSU linebacker Jabril Cox in the fourth round. It seems clear these two rookies are the future of the position in Dallas.
Parsons and new addition Keanu Neal are expected to play significant snaps this upcoming season at linebacker. But where does that leave former Pro Bowlers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith? Both are, at the very least, expected to see far fewer snaps than in previous years. Perhaps the lowest of their young careers so far.
Because of the influx of new talent into this positional group under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, there has been rampant speculation that the Cowboys might decide to trade away either Smith or Vander Esch.
But the Dallas brass has often been one to take the cautious approach in these kinds of situations, and never rash or quick to action. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if the team simply decided to keep both Smith and Vander Esch the entire season for depth … just in case. Then they’ll let the chips fall where they may next offseason.