FRISCO, Texas – Starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is expected to have surgery for a collarbone injury suffered in the first quarter of Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Rams, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan.
Indications are Vander Esch will miss up to eight weeks of action after surgery to repair a fracture. He's expected to go to the Reserve/Injured list, Jones said, but would eligible to return after a minimum of three games.
Vander Esch had a strong training camp at middle linebacker after returning healthy from January neck surgery. He missed seven games last year with the neck injury.
Joe Thomas replaced Vander Esch in the lineup next to Jaylon Smith against the Rams. But depth is thin at the moment with Sean Lee currently on the Reserve/Injured list for at least the next two games.
The Cowboys currently have rookie linebackers Francis Bernard and LaDarius Hamilton on the practice squad. Teams can elevate up to two practice squad players per week the day before a game and increase the maximum roster size to 55 players.