Leighton Vander Esch suffered another neck injury against the 49ers, leaving a hole in the linebacking corps for the next several weeks. Vander Esch has been placed on injured reserve meaning he will not be eligible to return until Week 11. Even though he will eligible to play in time for the game against the Panthers, that does not guarantee he will be fully recovered.
In the meantime, Dallas elevated Malik Jefferson from the practice squad for the Chargers game and signed Rashaan Evans to the practice squad. The linebacker was most recently a member of the Eagles' practice squad before being released. While signing Evans helps, more help is needed.
Against the Chargers Marquese Bell saw playing time at the middle linebacker spot and had a good game with seven tackles and one pass breakup. Dan Quinn likes using Bell as a hybrid safety/linebacker who can come up in the box, but he lacks the size to play the linebacker spot consistently for the rest of the season. Damone Clark remains the only true starting linebacker on this team as of right now.
While expectations are Vander Esch will come back and play this season, the Cowboys need to look at bringing in more depth for the position. The teams that are successful towards the end of the year when everyone starts to wear down have depth and right now Dallas does not have much of that at the linebacker position.