Source: Dallas’ Vander Esch likely out 6-8 weeks

  • Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
  • Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
  • Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children

FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday on a broken left collarbone suffered in the season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams, according to a source.

Vander Esch is expected to miss 6-8 weeks and be placed on injured reserve with the ability to return later in the season. The collarbone will be repaired with a plate and screws, similar to the surgery former quarterback Tony Romo had on his broken left collarbone in 2015.

Vander Esch suffered the injury in the first quarter and was replaced by Joe Thomas. Romo missed nine weeks (eight games) in 2015 with his collarbone injury and suffered a re-break in his return against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving and was done for the season.

Last season, Vander Esch, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018, missed seven games with a neck injury that eventually required a minimally invasive procedure in the offseason to fix, but he said in training camp he has had no issues with his neck.

With Vander Esch out and Sean Lee missing at least the next two games on injured reserve with a pelvis issue, the Cowboys have four linebackers on the 53-man roster. Luke Gifford, who was inactive against the Rams, has been working back from a hamstring strain. It is possible the Cowboys could look to call up rookie Frances Bernard from the practice squad.

Vander Esch’s injury was not the only one of significance for the Cowboys.

Tight end Blake Jarwin is believed to have suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, a source said. He is set for more tests on Monday. Backup offensive tackle Cameron Erving suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and could miss a few weeks, according to a source.

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