NFL Rumors: Cowboys target former first-round pick to replace Leighton Vander Esch

The Cowboys are actively looking for a Leighton Vander Esch replacement.

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Less than a week after Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch got injured, the team has been on the hunt to find his possible replacement.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the Cowboys were hosting veteran linebacker Rashaan Evans for a free agent visit. The 2018 first-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the Titans before joining the Falcons in 2022. He finished with 159 combined tackles, four passes defended, and two sacks that year.

Evans became a free agent this past offseason and generated mild interest. Now that the Cowboys are running low on linebacker depth, Evans could potentially fill a position of need and serve as an immediate plug-and-play starter or take on a rotational role.

Cowboys look to add LB Rashaan Evans to fill Leighton Vander Esch's role

Vander Esch, who has a concerning history of neck issues, suffered a neck injury in last week's loss to the 49ers. He was placed on injured reserve and will miss the next four games.

Evans started every game for the Falcons last year and tried out for the Eagles this past summer. Evans signed onto Philly's practice squad ahead of the 2023 season but was recently released.

With Vander Esch out, the Cowboys still have a number of versatile defenders who could take snaps at linebacker, including star Micah Parsons. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is also known for using his safeties (Jayron Kearse, Donovan Wilson) in hybrid roles.

As of Thursday, Evans is expected to sign with the Cowboys, per ESPN's sources. At best, Evans will turn into a reliable starter in an already elite defense.

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