Leighton Vander Esch
Leighton Vander Esch
25-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Dallas Cowboys
2020 Fantasy Outlook
A neck injury all but wrecked Vander Esch's 2019, but he still projects as a top-three linebacker IDP if he can get back to the form he showed as a rookie in 2018. In fact, he's probably the only linebacker with a prayer of keeping up with top IDP Darius Leonard. While playing just 1,312 defensive snaps, Vander Esch piled up 212 tackles. Based on those numbers, we might expect Vander Esch to go over 160 tackles should he play 1,000 snaps. A lot of IDP owners might chase teammate and fellow linebacker Jaylon Smith after he posted 142 tackles last year, but it's Vander Esch who warrants the higher ranking if healthy. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#Subscriber-Only
IDP
$Signed a four-year, $11.85 million contract with the Cowboys in May of 2018.
Recovered from ankle injury
LBDallas Cowboys
March 26, 2021
Vander Esch no longer has an injury designation, David Helman of the team's official site reports.
ANALYSIS
After spending a handful of games in 2020 on the sidelines due to various injuries, Vander Esch is good to go for the upcoming year. In his 10 matchups during last season, the linebacker recorded 60 tackles (32 solo), one sack and one forced fumble. When healthy, Vander Esch flashed promise, posting a career high in tackles in 2019 (140) and seven pass breakups through 16 games.
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NFL Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2020 NFL Game Log
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2019 NFL Game Log
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2018 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Dallas CowboysCowboys 2020 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

108198%
80873%
45942%
40837%
36733%
18016%
10%
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2020 Leighton Vander Esch Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do Leighton Vander Esch's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 4"
 
Weight
256 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.15 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.88 sec
 
Vertical Jump
39.5 in
 
Broad Jump
124 in
 
Bench Press
20 reps
 
Hand Length
9.75 in
 
Arm Length
44.88 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Leighton Vander Esch
Gameday Injuries: Week 17
106 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco guides you through an extensive Week 17 injury report replete with COVID-19 absences and conventional injuries afflicting some big fantasy names.
NFL Game Previews: Week 17 Matchups
107 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews Week 17 in the NFL as Alex Smith looks to lead Washington to a division title in a win-and-in matchup against the Eagles on Sunday night.
Gameday Injuries: Week 16
113 days ago
Some of fantasy's biggest names are on the Week 16 injury radar in what is Championship Week for many leagues. Juan Carlos Blanco gives you the latest on the health front as of Sunday morning.
NFL Game Previews: Bills-Patriots Matchup
116 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Monday night matchup as Cam Newton and the Patriots play for pride against the visiting Bills.
NFL Game Previews: Patriots-Jets Matchup
165 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Monday night matchup as Cam Newton and the Patriots look to bounce back against the struggling Jets.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
Linebacker duos don't come much more established than Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith were last year, yet Vander Esch emphatically introduced himself as the Cowboys' top linebacker as a rookie, with 140 tackles on just 784 snaps. Some of those stops occurred on special teams, where he played 181 snaps (a figure that will drop in 2019), but even if last year's tackle rate is significantly lowered, Vander Esch projects for gigantic totals now that he'll have a three-down role all year. At 6-4, 256, with elite athleticism, Vander Esch might be the Brian Urlacher of this era.
The 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Vander Esch joins a Cowboys linebacking corps packed with talent but also fraught with uncertainty. The Boise State product has outstanding speed and athleticism for his size, giving him plenty of upside in a three-down role as he racks up tackles, handles coverage assignments and makes the occasional blitzing foray. Whether he sees a three-down role on a roster that already features oft-injured Sean Lee and third-year LB Jaylon Smith is the big question, but Dallas' initial depth chart lists the rookie as the starting middle linebacker, seemingly putting him ahead of Smith in nickel packages. There were also concerns about a possible neck issue prior to the draft, but the Cowboys presumably didn't consider him a health risk when they used a first-round pick on him. If the workload is there for Vander Esch, elite production could follow.
More Fantasy News
Battles through injuries again
LBDallas Cowboys
Ankle
January 17, 2021
Vander Esch recorded 60 tackles (32 solo) while adding a sack and a forced fumble over 10 games in 2020.
ANALYSIS
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Won't play Week 17
LBDallas Cowboys
Ankle
January 1, 2021
Vander Esch (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Giants, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not practicing to start week
LBDallas Cowboys
Ankle
December 30, 2020
Vander Esch (ankle) was unable to practice Wednesday, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Officially out Week 16
LBDallas Cowboys
Ankle
December 25, 2020
Vander Esch (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Eagles, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected out multiple weeks
LBDallas Cowboys
Ankle
December 21, 2020
Coach Mike McCarthy does not anticipate Vander Esch will be able to suit up Week 16 against the Eagles with his high-ankle sprain, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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