The Cowboys will not pick up Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option for 2022, according to his agent, Ron Slavin, which will make the 2018 first-round pick an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season.
Vander Esch’s injury history is the biggest reason. He missed 13 games over the past two seasons, starting with a neck injury that required surgery in 2019 and cost him seven games. He missed six games in 2020 because of a broken collarbone. If the Cowboys had picked up the option, the $9.1 million would have been fully guaranteed.