Leighton Vander Esch
Leighton Vander Esch
23-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Dallas Cowboys
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $11.85 million contract with the Cowboys in May of 2018.
Wrecks havoc in win
LBDallas Cowboys
September 9, 2019
Vander Esch made 10 tackles (nine solo) and half of a sack during Sunday's 35-17 win over the Giants.
The 2018 first-round pick was a major key in slowing down the Saquon Barkley-led attack, notching double-digit tackles. The 23-year-old continues to prove why he's one of the most productive IDP options out there, even recording his first career half-sack. Up next, Vander Esch and the Cowboys get a juicy defensive matchup against the Redskins in Week 2.
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Dallas CowboysCowboys 2019 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this
L.Leighton Vander Esch
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2019 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.
6' 4"
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
Streaming Defenses: Week 2
8 days ago
J.J. Watt should get the best of Gardner Minshew, but fantasy owners looking ahead to Week 3 might prefer the Cowboys or Bills instead of the Texans.
IDP Analysis: Identifying Values at Linebacker
58 days ago
In his second of three articles, Jim Coventry aims to help IDP owners find good LB values, like Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David, on draft day.
Draft Day Final Mock
Draft Day Final Mock
146 days ago
146 days ago
John McKechnie offers his final mock with the first round of the NFL Draft on tap for Thursday. Mississippi's D.K. Metcalf is a unique receiver prospect, but is he at risk of falling out of the first round?
Exploiting the Matchups: Week 17 Start/Sit
265 days ago
Trust players with playoff stakes on the line in Week 17, including the Eagles' Nick Foles. Luke Hoover has several other competitors in mind.
Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Options
274 days ago
Following a Week 15 shutout win on the road, the Titans return home for a cupcake matchup with Josh Johnson and the injury-ravaged Redskins.
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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
Back in action
LBDallas Cowboys
August 16, 2019
Vander Esch (pelvis) played 11 snaps and recorded one tackle in Saturday's preseason opener against the 49ers.
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Doing individual work
LBDallas Cowboys
June 11, 2019
Vander Esch (pelvis) participated in individual drills during minicamp Tuesday, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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Back to work in limited capacity
LBDallas Cowboys
June 5, 2019
Vander Esch (pelvis) participated in pre-practice team drills during Wednesday's OTA session, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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Sitting out with pelvis issue
LBDallas Cowboys
May 22, 2019
Vander Esch won't participate in OTAs due to a pelvic injury, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
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Pro Bowl rookie campaign
LBDallas Cowboys
January 19, 2019
Vander Esch finished the regular season with a team-high 140 tackles, including 102 solo, and two interceptions on seven passes defended.
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