Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch announces retirement

DALLAS, Texas (KETK) – Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has announced that he’s retiring from football, according to

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“I love the game of football so much, and my body won’t cooperate any longer,” said Esch. “I cherished every moment of my NFL career, and it has been such a blessing to play the game for as long as I have played.”

According to the Cowboys’ website, Esch suffered a neck injury in October of 2023 that put him into a reserve ending his season and now his career in the NFL.

Esch’s announcement followed a roster move to release him with a failed physical designation and the following statement from owner and general manager Jerry Jones:

“Seldom do you come across a player like Leighton, who grew up playing eight-man football only to first play the 11-man game at the major collegiate level and excel. His passion and love for the game was contagious, and from the moment he arrived, he has been a difference maker. His grit, toughness, motivation, determination and football IQ will be sorely missed. Leighton also embodied the strong character and personal qualities that make him much more than an accomplished player. He was a leader and the kind of teammate that impacted those around him in the best ways. Leighton’s playing career may have come to an end, but his future is very bright. On behalf of the entire Dallas Cowboys organization, we’re proud that he wore the star on his helmet, we thank him and we wish all the best to Leighton, his wife, Madalynn, and their young daughter.”

Jerry Jones

To learn more visit the Dallas Cowboy’s online.

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