Jerry Jones makes his decision on 'great' Cowboys dilemma

Ruben Hill
December 6, 2018

In his place at weakside linebacker, Vander Esch has emerged as a viable contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year with 78 solo tackles, 103 combined tackles, and two interceptions.

Vander Esch, nicknamed the Wolf Hunter, led the Cowboys defense with 10 tackles in a 13-10 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, and he debuted his celebratory wolf howl.

Lee has always been the Cowboys' most important defensive player, but he's never been able to stay healthy.

"I think Leighton Vander Esch is destined to be one of the all-time greats", Aikman said.

Despite his injury, Lee has been a steady presence on the Cowboys' sidelines and in their meeting rooms.

As a follow up Jones said Lee will return to his previous gig as he's a "quarterback on the field".

When asked if Lee will get his starting job back to which he replied, "Yes". "That's a dream for me, to be able to play in a group like this".

With Lee expected to return soon, the Cowboys now lead the NFC East by one game over the Redskins. That will likely be determined by how much he is able to practice this week, if at all.

Even when Lee comes back, they figure to rotate linebackers, including Jaylon Smith, to keep everybody fresh as the Cowboys head down the home stretch suddenly alone atop the NFC East.

Of course, that was six weeks ago - before Vander Esch had burst onto the scene as one of the Cowboys' most reliable defensive playmakers.

Out of the 139 receivers who've played at least 150 offensive snaps this season, Moore ranks tied for 15th in terms of overall grade, and he's the only rookie receiver to rank within the top-35.

"He's improving", Jones said of Vander Esch Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ show [KRLD-FM]", but Sean Lee, make no mistake about it, when he's right, there's nobody better. "And then you look at what we've got in Smith, you just got to have those guys out there on the field and it's a great problem to have".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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