FRISCO, Texas – It doesn't sound like Leighton Vander Esch's neck issues are a long-term concern, to hear it from Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys' owner and general manager was asked about his star linebacker on Friday morning, just days after it was announced that Vander Esch would undergo a minor surgery on his neck.
"They think he'll have a full recovery – complete, thumbs up," Jones said.
Vander Esch was put on injured reserve earlier this week after missing his sixth game of the season. He injured his neck on Oct. 20 against Philadelphia, and though he rebounded enough to play against Minnesota and Detroit, the symptoms from that injury returned and have sidelined him for most of the last two months.
It's understandable that such a long-lasting injury would raise questions about Vander Esch's viability. There were concerns during the draft process that he had dealt with neck problems during his college days at Boise State – enough that some teams reportedly wouldn't consider drafting him.
Despite that, Jones was adamant that Vander Esch's injury was unique unto itself and not part of some larger, chronic problem.
"Nothing in anything I've heard or seen would indicate that it's something that was unique to him as much as it was the injury itself," he said. "He actually had a very unorthodox position with pressure that created this injury."
The early timing of the surgery should allow Vander Esch to get a jump on his return for 2020. And as he does so, the Cowboys don't seem to think this will be something he has to deal with going forward.
"It's not something you'd expect him to have happen any more frequently," Jones said.