Dallas Cowboys: The 5 most damaging injuries of 2020

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Our first weekend without Dallas Cowboys football, we look back at the most damaging injuries of 2020.

A lot went wrong for the Dallas Cowboys this past season but none more impactful than the windfall of injuries that befell the franchise. Today we’re going to look at the worst of them. We start with No. 5…

Dallas Cowboys Injury No. 5

Leighton Vander Esch, LB

Games Missed: 5

This is the second season in as many years Leighton Vander Esch was relegated to under 50% of the snaps due to injury. His main injury this season, suffered in Week 1, had an ugly trickle-down effect that forced a position move for Jaylon Smith.

This season was supposed to be about settling Jaylon up for success in a new spot. Instead it was more of same (specifically early on) because LVE missed the first five games of the season. The Dallas Cowboys were arguably the worst run defense in the NFL and a lot of that falls on LVE’s early-season injury.

It also cast significant doubt on LVE’s future with the team. The Dallas Cowboys must decide this offseason if they want to pick up his fifth-year option. If they don’t, 2021 will be LVE’s last under contract.

LVE’s injury wasn’t just bad for Jaylon and bad for the team. But it was bad for him too. Much like his performance last season, Leighton was terrible even when he was playing. At this point the Cowboys must seriously question how LVE fits with this team because he has far more bad plays on his record than good plays and his chronic injury situation isn’t helping things.