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Leighton Vander Esch returns from ankle injury ready to compete

Leighton Vander Esch was on the field for the Cowboys’ first training practice Thursday evening.
It was his first work since organized team activities.
The team’s first-round pick injured his ankle and missed the end of OTAs and all of the minicamp.
“They were just holding me out for precautionary reasons back in OTAs.
I’m ready to go 100 percent.” Vander Esch is working with the second team at middle linebacker behind Jaylon Smith, but both players will get plenty of work in the team’s defense.
Vander Esch also is getting work behind Lee.
“We’ve tried to give Leighton as many opportunities as you can,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
But I feel good about where Jaylon is and where Sean is and all those guys.” The Cowboys are excited about their front seven, and Vander Esch is among the reasons.
“Obviously, I’ve got to be prepared for any situation that comes up,” Vander Esch said.
“I’ve got to know all the positions on the field.

AP

Leighton Vander Esch was on the field for the Cowboys’ first training practice Thursday evening. It was his first work since organized team activities.

The team’s first-round pick injured his ankle and missed the end of OTAs and all of the minicamp.

“It was only a light, minor kind of [thing],” Vander Esch said. “They were just holding me out for precautionary reasons back in OTAs. I’m ready to go 100 percent.”

Vander Esch is working with the second team at middle linebacker behind Jaylon Smith, but both players will get plenty of work in the team’s defense. Dallas didn’t use a first-round pick on Vander Esch to ride the bench.

Veteran Sean Lee is the mainstay at linebacker, manning the weakside. Vander Esch also is getting…

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