NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys

Nov 10, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch underwent neck surgery on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Vander Esch, who turns 24 next month, is expected to recover in time to participate in parts of the offseason program.

Vander Esch missed seven games in 2019, including the final five, due to the injury.

Raising concern is that Vander Esch also had neck issues while in college at Boise State. The situation was a red flag to teams prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, before Vander Esch went 19th overall to the Cowboys.

The latest neck woes began when Vander Esch suffered a stinger during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 20 and sat out the following week prior to the team's bye.

He returned to play in Dallas' next two games -- against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. He briefly left the Minnesota game due to a back injury.

He was eventually shut down for the season with now-former coach Jason Garrett saying Vander Esch would need minor surgery.

Vander Esch made 72 tackles in nine games this season. As a rookie, he was a Pro Bowl selection and made 140 stops and intercepted two passes.

--Field Level Media

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