Stephen Jones: Micah Parsons pick doesn’t affect Leighton Vander Esch option

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When Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones spoke to reporters at a press conference earlier this week, he said the team would meet to discuss picking up linebacker Leighton Vander Esch‘s fifth-year option after the draft.

The timing suggested that the draft would have some bearing on the call they make on guaranteeing Vander Esch a $9.145 million salary in 2022. The Cowboys chose Micah Parsons with the 12th pick, which would seem to point toward declining the option but Jones said he doesn’t see the two things as related.

“I don’t think it affects it,” Jones said, via the team’s website. “We’ll make a decision on Leighton — we’ll make that decision when the time comes. We’ve got some discussions to have on that, period.”

If the Parsons pick doesn’t affect the decision, it shouldn’t be a terribly long discussion as the Cowboys have known Vander Esch’s production, salary, and injury history for some time.

8 responses to “Stephen Jones: Micah Parsons pick doesn’t affect Leighton Vander Esch option

  1. This is what happens when you miss time. LVE has potential to be great but can’t stay on the field. If these neck issues are serious then maybe he shouldn’t be playing. If these are not serious and something he could have been playing through then maybe he should have been playing. The player has a lot of say in how he approaches playing with injuries

  2. Those Dallas backers take a beating because the D line is awful… Micah will meet this same fate.

  3. So much money for such a decrepit position group. Da’ boyz really need a true football mind in that lead role. I don’t even like the Cowboys but enough with the Jones’ monarchy already. Let football people lead the football operations.

  4. Leighton Vander Esch has had a history of neck injuries long before the Cowboys drafted him. The Cowboys kept saying their doctors didn’t see a problem. Well, it’s been a problem and it’s keeps being a problem. Leighton is a tackling machine when he is healthy. His problem continues to be his neck. It’s hard to diagnose the seriousness of a neck problem. The Cowboys made a great move in drafting Micah Parsons.

  5. The only way that isn’t a lie is if they trade him before the season starts. Unless the team moves to a 3-4 (then it was stupid to sign Neal), you don’t pay $9M to a SLB that is on the field 30% of the time and you don’t sit the #10 overall pick for 2+ years.

    LVE is on a one-way trip out of town.

  6. I would get an independent assessment of his neck and if it checks out, offer the option. I agree with the comment above that they need DL help to relieve some of the pressure on the LBs. Richardson would be a good pickup and drafting Barmore would be great.

  7. Anytime I hear about chronic neck issues, I hope the player retires. You cannot continue to play football with a fragile neck.

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