NFL

The Dallas Cowboys Just Got a Massive Defensive Boost Against the Cardinals

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had the best of luck with injuries through the first five weeks of the 2020 season. The Cowboys’ sluggish start has been impacted by the litany of significant ailments that plague their talented roster. Things have now taken a promising step forward with Dallas getting back a huge piece of the puzzle ahead of Week 6 action against the Arizona Cardinals.

Cowboys ravaged by injuries in 2020 season

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The Cowboys entered the 2020 season with high aspirations of competing for more than a playoff berth.

That quickly saw their roster wrecked by notable injuries on both sides of the ball. Beyond their defensive woes, it has been the absence of critical pieces taking its toll on the franchise through the first five weeks of the campaign.

The Cowboys have moved forward without Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Dalton Schultz all out for the rest of the season. Despite these significant hurdles, Dallas has managed to remain in first place in the NFC East, primarily due to the rest of the division’s lack of competition.

Before the Cowboys head into their Monday night matchup against the Cardinals, the team will receive a much-needed boost.

Cowboys activate Leighton Vander Esch

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The Dallas Cowboys are looking to keep the ball rolling in the right direction on Monday night against a rising Cardinals team.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Cowboys have just received a massive boost after activating star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch from the IR that has cleared him to play in Week 6 action.

Vander Esch returns from a surgically-repaired broken collarbone that he suffered in the season opener against the LA Rams. He is coming back from the first significant injury of his brief NFL career that forced him to miss four games.

The 23-year-old has made some significant progress over the last two weeks as he has gone through three full practices, including a full-padded session. Vander Esch’s return brings back into the fold a significant part of their defense. In his absence, the Cowboys have been among the league’s worst defensive units allowing an NFL-worst 36.0 points per contest.

Vander Esch is one of the league’s top young linebackers behind earning him a Pro Bowl selection and a Second-Team All-Pro nod. The Boise State product has been the team’s primary defensive signal-caller over the last couple of years. Meanwhile, Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith are one of the league’s best linebacker tandems that have anchored the Cowboys defense.

Dallas is hoping to make a strong playoff push

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The Dallas Cowboys are in the driver’s seat in the NFC East, but there remains a steep hill to climb.

Dallas has a slew of significant injuries, but the franchise still possesses plenty of healthy talent across the board. Andy Dalton has the challenging task of filling Dak Prescott’s massive void, but he has elite skilled-position talents around him. The Cowboys have arguably the best trio of wide receivers with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and stellar rookie CeeDee Lamb.

Ezekiel Elliott is also among the best and most reliable running backs in the game. Elliott’s skill set provides Dallas with stability that most NFL teams don’t possess. Vander Esch’s return is a major defensive boost that the Cowboys desperately needs to move past their historically porous pace.

Ultimately, the Cowboys will have every opportunity to guide forward and contend for the playoffs in 2020.