Trent Williams likely ended Leighton Vander Esch pro career with dirty tackle

In a surprising move, the Dallas Cowboys have released the talented LB Leighton Vander Esch. Despite having the talent and potential, the team has decided not to continue with Leighton because of a failed physical designation.

However, a major credit for the release of Leighton goes to the 49er’s player Trent Williams and his dirty tackle last year.

Trent Williams likely retired Leighton Vander Esch

The Cowboys have released Trent Williams because of his neck injury, which was likely caused by Trent Williams. Last year, during a game between the Cowboys and the 49ers on Oct 8, Trent Williams made a dirty tackle that hurt Leighton badly.

Williams pushed the LB from behind, which led him to hit his head into defensive lineman Micah Parsons. This sudden collision caused Vander Esch to jam his neck.

After that, he couldn’t play in the rest of the game and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones later revealed that Leighton Vander Esch would miss out on the entire 2023 season because of his neck injury.

Jones also clarified at that time that the LB’s future with the team has also become uncertain. Unfortunately, the injury caused by Trent Williams’ dirty tackle didn’t let Leighton play again. 

Via CBS Sports

Even for the 2024 season, he is not expected to perform to his full potential, leading the Cowboys to release him.

While Williams can’t be entirely blamed for the release of Leighton Vander Esch, he did have a great influence on this whole process. After this incident, many Cowboys fans also turned against Trent Williams and some even accused him of doing it deliberately. 

It’s impossible to say if he did it deliberately but it has surely caused a lot of damage to the NFL career of Leighton Vander Esch.

Leighton Vander Esch previously injured his neck in 2019

The reason a mere collision led to a serious injury for Leighton Vander Esch was that he had a history of neck injuries. The LB suffered a serious neck injury in 2019.

After this injury, he was diagnosed with a condition called cervical spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column in the neck. It was reported that he was born with this condition.

This condition causes increased nerve sensitivity to a bulging or herniated disk, which can require surgery if more conservative treatment methods do not alleviate symptoms. The symptoms can include numbness or tingling in the limbs.

Via SportsKeeda

The LB had surgery in 2020 and returned to play football fully healthy and playing better than before. But it was made clear that if he suffered another neck injury, it would be very hard for him to recover, and he might need to retire. 

This is exactly what happened last year. Another neck injury, just a few months after Leighton Vander Esch signed a new contract with the Cowboys took a toll on the LB for whom recovery and playing in the NFL have become difficult now.

Maheen Zaib

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Maheen is a writer for SportsZion. She's your go-to for all things NFL, from epic game highlights to trade scoops and breaking news. Navigating the sports scene with flair, join her on this thrilling journey through the NFL's wild ride. Let's score some great reads together!


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