6 Cowboys Cap Casualty Cuts to Save Millions This Offseason

If the Dallas Cowboys wanted to free up cap space, they could look to move on from these 6 players

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4. Leighton Vander Esch, LB

Pre-June 1 Savings: $2.147 Million
Pre-June 1 Dead Money: $2.25 million
Post-June 1 Savings: $2.147 Million
Post-June 1 Dead Money: $2.25 million

A former first-round pick out of Boise State, Leighton Vander Esch has had an up-and-down career thus far. He burst onto the scene as a rookie with 140 tackles and two interceptions in 2018 but then slowed down in 2019 when he missed seven games due to injury.

The injury concerns continued in 2020 as he played in just 10 games and had 60 tackles. He did work his way back to health and appeared in all 17 games in 2021. He played well enough that Dallas signed him to a one-year deal in 2022 and that led to a career resurgence.

LVE thrived when he was on the field but a neck injury forced him out for a few games. He returned in the playoffs and was all over the field with nine tackles in the win against Tampa Bay. That led to another new contract, this time a two-year deal.

Sadly, Vander Esch appeared in just five games before his neck — which was an issue in college — acted up again. He was sent to the IR in November and there are concerns his career could be over. Even if he does attempt a comeback, it's not likely going to be on his current salary. Instead, the Cowboys will save just under half of his deal by making him a cap-casualty.