Cowboys Playoffs BREAKING: ‘Girl Dad!’ Why Micah Parsons is OUT of Practice for Bucs
FRISCO – The Dallas Cowboys are welcoming back three players they missed a lot in the absence. … although Micah Parsons is absent today for personal reasons. … of a very sweet kind. …
The birth of his second child, a girl.
So the “Lion Supporter” has added a cub.
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (pec) and center Tyler Biadasz (ankle) are expected to return to the field in Monday night’s Wild Card road game against the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both are expected to improve the Cowboys’ rushing attack, which seems to have lacked the “punch” we saw earlier in the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Micah linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is also expected to return after missing the last three weeks with a neck injury, and he could shore up what has been a weak defense during his absence.
“His dominance. His voice. His leadership,” defensive end Dorance Armstrong said. “He’s playing as fast as anybody out there. He’s one of those guys that can call some things before they happen. He really knows and studies our opponent. When you can give that information, it helps other players play.”
Vander Esch is the defensive lineman entrusted by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn with the speaker in his helmet so he can relay play calls to his teammates.
Vander Esch’s defensive prowess will be a welcome sight against Brady and the Buccaneers’ pregame adjustments.
“It might seem like a small thing when he’s adjusting and moving the defensive line,” Quinn said. “But he’s putting the front on a back or getting off the back or putting them in some spots that we have for the game plan to do that. And this season in particular, man, I’ve really felt him handle. …
“He asks great questions. ‘Hey, Dan, if this comes out, how are you going to handle it?’ So he thinks ahead to a problem that might be there to think about. That’s what you want from a veteran linebacker. He nails it that way.”
During his time away from the court, Vander Esch, 26, was active at The Star, staying engaged with his teammates. Even during games a headset kept him in touch with his coaches to help his team even when he was off the field.
The Cowboys’ defense allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars 7.1 yards per carry in a loss when Vander Esch was injured and left the game open. After missing two weeks, he could have returned against Washington, but the team thought it was best to save him for the playoffs.
On Monday night, Dallas will hope to win its first road playoff game since the 1992 NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park.
Vander Esch teaming up with Parsons could be a big factor in making that happen.
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