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NFL trade rumors: 3 reasons why the Dallas Cowboys should trade Leighton Vander Esch before the 2021 season

Minnesota Vikings v Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota Vikings v Dallas Cowboys
David Barry Gear

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch could be on his way out of Dallas before the 2021 NFL season kicks off in September.

The former first-round draft pick has so far failed to live up to his potential in his time in Texas. After a standout rookie season in 2018 where the defensive back made the Pro Bowl, the 25-year-old has constantly been battling injuries.

Due to a series of serious injuries, the Dallas Cowboys declined to pick up Vander Esch’s fifth-year option, which means he will be a free agent next year.

Is it time for the Cowboys to move on from Vander Esch?

The Cowboys could look to move their fourth-year player before training camp starts in late July. Here are three reasons why they should look to trade Vander Esch before the 2021 season.

#1 - The contract situation

The Cowboys declined to pick up the linebacker's fifth-year option, which signals that they are ready to move on from Vander Esch. It would make sense to try and get something in return for the six-foot-four, 255-pound defender this offseason.

By trading Vander Esch now, the Dallas Cowboys may be able to acquire another player before the season starts or gain some future draft picks. Otherwise, the defender could simply leave after the 2021 NFL season.

#2 - Injuries

As mentioned earlier, Leighton Vander Esch has already suffered some serious injuries during his brief NFL career. In 2019, he suffered a bad neck injury which led to him missing most of the season. Last season, Vander Esch broke his collarbone in Week 1 and missed another six games.

The fourth-year player is fully healthy heading into training camp, which hands the Cowboys the best opportunity to trade him before injury strikes again.

#3 - Team culture

The Dallas Cowboys have struggled with team morale and offseason distractions over the past several seasons. Declining Vander Esch's fifth-year option and still keeping him on the roster this season could lead to another dose of the unwanted off-field drama.

If the Cowboys were to trade the linebacker, they would avoid any hard feelings or potential trouble with his teammates.

Leighton Vander Esch NFL stats

Games - 35

Tackles - 272

Sacks - 1.5

Interceptions - 2

Forced fumbles - 2


Edited by Colin D'Cunha

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