2 Leighton Vander Esch replacements Cowboys can sign (and 1 they should avoid)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Dallas Cowboys
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
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As if the Dallas Cowboys 42-10 loss on Sunday Night Football wasn't torturous enough, the team received multiple unfortunate injury updates on important players. The list includes linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, kick returner and wide receiver KaVontae Turpin and special teams gunner C.J. Goodwin.

The Vander Esch news is especially unfortunate (he's going on IR with a neck strain) as the Cowboys were already thin at linebacker to start the season after rookie DeMarvion Overshown suffered a torn ACL in preseason. They also lost longtime practice squad member Devin Harper to the waiver wire.

Vander Esch and Damone Clark have been logging heavy snaps. Safety convert Markquese Bell is next up on the depth chart, though it stands to reason that Micah Parsons will get more looks at linebacker.

Still, the Cowboys (should) more often than not want Parsons rushing the passer. They need not waste any time signing a veteran free agent.

3. LB Cowboys should sign: Damien Wilson

A former Cowboy, you say? Indeed.

Dallas drafted Wilson in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. He started 22 of 64 games over the length of his rookie contract before he signed with the Chiefs as a free agent in 2019, which is where he experienced arguably his most success in the NFL.

Wilson was part of both of Kansas City's Super Bowl appearances in 2019 and 2020, including their triumph in 2020. He was a nailed-on starter week in and week out and gave the Chiefs really nice linebacker depth in the SAM position.

Wilson had another respectable year with the Jaguars in 2021, but unfortunately became buried along a surprisingly deep Panthers LB room last season. He started 5 of 17 games and played just 18% percent of the snaps on defense in Carolina.

Now 30 years old, Wilson would be an interesting dart-throw by the Cowboys. His coverage has dropped off in recent years as he's gotten older, but is athleticism is sufficient enough to make routine tackles in support against the run.