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Mailbag: Concern Building for Vander Esch?


Rumors persist that the "minor procedure" on Vander Esch's neck is actually more serious than we suspected. What can you tell us about this, and the level of concern you have now? – CHRIS HARVEY / RICHMOND, VA

Lindsay: On the list of injuries, neck is definitely at the top of the list for 'scare-factor'. But we've been told repeatedly that this ordeal was routine, and the timing was as good as it could be. Vander Esch really rested the second half of the season and will have the entire offseason to get ready for 2020. Not to mention, youth is on his side. I'd say it's something to note, but not worry on – yet.

David: Are you sure you're hearing rumors, or are you projecting your own concerns into the situation? For the record, I don't think you're necessarily wrong. Linebacker is a physical position and neck injuries can be persistent. But I haven't talked to anyone inside the organization who is overly worried about Leighton's availability. Only time will tell how well he bounces back, but I'm willing to give the situation the benefit of the doubt.

I know Trysten Hill was a Rod Marinelli influenced draft pick. Do you still like this pick moving forward? – DEAN TURNER / BETHLEHEM, CT

Lindsay: When we get ready to sit down and evaluate this past year and look at 2020, Hill will definitely get my "needs to make the biggest jump" sticker. Second-round draft picks are expected to contribute, and defensive tackle is a position of need for the Cowboys. I wish I would've seen more from him in year one, but let's hope something big with this new coaching staff clicks for year two.

David: It's hard to feel good about a second-round draft pick who barely got onto the field. Second-round picks are supposed to push for starting jobs, and Hill only appeared in seven games. All of that said, one season does not make or break a career. There's a new coaching staff in place, including a seasoned defensive line coach in Jim Tomsula. Hill's rookie season was disappointing, but I'm not ready to write him off completely.

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