The Cowboys could not retain free-agent edge rusher Randy Gregory. But they have kept one of their other defensive free agents.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Dallas is re-signing linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to a one-year deal.
Vander Esch reportedly was drawing interest from a few other teams, including the Patriots, according to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal.
But Vander Esch has elected to go back to the organization that drafted him with the 19th overall pick of the 2018 draft.
Vander Esch had a strong rookie year, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl with 140 total tackles, a pair of interceptions, and seven passes defensed. After dealing with injuries in 2019 and 2020, he had a healthy 2021 campaign. Vander Esch totaled 77 tackles with an interception and two pass breakups while playing 58 percent of Dallas’ defensive snaps.