FRISCO, Texas – Add Leighton Vander Esch to the list of absentees at the outset of Week 6.
The Cowboys hit the practice field for the first time this week on Wednesday morning, and their All-Pro linebacker was not present for the portion of practice that is open to media members.
If it’s injury-related, it’s not something that has come up in the days since Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. Vander Esch has appeared hobbled at times in the last two weeks, but he finished that game with nine total tackles.
Elsewhere, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins were also absent from practice, although that is much less surprising. Smith is still recuperating from the ankle sprain he suffered in New Orleans, and Collins sprained his MCL on Sunday against Green Bay. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the two tackles would be limited “at best” if they practiced Wednesday.
In their place, the offense started Cam Fleming at left tackle and Brandon Knight at right tackle.
Amari Cooper and Tony Pollard were on hand for Wednesday’s practice. Cooper told reporters Sunday that he injured his quad during the game, and Garrett said Pollard is dealing with knee and ankle injuries. But both skill players were on hand for the open portion of practice.
Antwaun Woods also took part in Wednesday’s practice. Woods practiced last week but did not play against the Packers, as he continues to recover from a knee injury. With a full week of work behind him, it feels like a possibility Woods could be ready to go this weekend in New York.