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Injury Update For Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch

A closeup of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys remain in good shape to win the NFC East, but they'll be dealing with some major injury issues for this weekend's pivotal game against the Philadelphia Eagles. In particular, former first-round linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will miss his fifth straight game with a neck injury.

Before the injury, the former Boise State linebacker had 70 tackles, a forced fumble, and 0.5 sacks on the season.

While not quite the impressive rookie numbers he put up in 2018, Leighton Vander Esch is still a huge part of that defense. With the Cowboys linebacking corps reeling at the moment, it isn't the best news for a team, and coaching staff, clawing to stay alive.

Rookie Luke Gifford is out after breaking his arm in the team's win over the Los Angeles Rams, while fellow linebacker Joe Thomas suffered a knee injury this season, and remains out.

Dallas and Philadelphia each sit at 7-7 on the season, ahead of this weekend's huge game. Philadelphia is at home for what may be a de facto playoff game on Sunday. The Cowboys finish up the season with last-place Washington back at Jerry World in Week 17. The Eagles' final game is a bit more tough, against the New York Giants on the road. The Cowboys won the first game between the two 37-10. The two NFC East teams face off at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday. [

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will miss a fifth straight game Sunday vs. Eagles, source said. Not assured to return this season. Neck injury has responded well to rest but not to level where he can resume football activities at this time.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 18, 2019

">Michael Gehlken]