The Dallas Cowboys have had the strength of their team on the offensive side of the ball for the last few seasons. However, 2018 has a chance to be different. With young talent on all three levels of the defense, the team has a chance to dominate on defense this season. One of the main additions to the team comes in first-round linebacker Leighton Vander Esch out of Boise State. Vander Esch is a big, physical linebacker who can make an impact right away for Dallas. Here’s how:
Run Game Presence:
Anthony Hitchens departed for Kansas City in free agency this offseason. Needing a replacement, the team spent premium draft capital on a replacement. Leighton Vander Esch is a young, physical linebacker who isn’t afraid to take on blocks and shed offensive lineman in the run game. As such, he can play major snaps for the Cowboys in 2018. With his size and strength, Vander Esch (LVE) can be a major contributor on defense.
While expectations for LVE to start will be reasonable, Vander Esch providing depth for the team will already be a big help. When Sean Lee went down for injury in 2017, (and in years past), the defense has fallen apart. With a healthy Jaylon Smith and LVE, the team should have one of the premier linebacking cores in the league. With Kris Richard in tow, these linebackers will have a chance to make plays and move all over the field.
While Sean Lee has been the MVP and focal point for the Dallas Cowboys defense in recent years, Leighton Vander Esch has a chance to be an impact player in his rookie season. With his prototypical build and college production, LVE can provide depth and stability at linebacker. His presence on one of the young defenses in the NFL can propel the team to new heights in 2018.
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