Leighton Vander Esch has been fined for his meltdown after the Cowboys lost to Washington. The NFL is now reviewing the incident and could come down even harder on him, but any punishment will likely be just a slap on the wrist.
The “leighton vander esch” is a player who has been accused of verbally attacking referees. The Cowboys could be in trouble if the NFL decides to punish Vander Esch for his actions.
This past weekend, the Dallas Cowboys had an opportunity to firmly establish themselves as a strong contender in the NFC. They had a chance to make it 12 wins in a row, and they were against an Arizona Cardinals squad that had been struggling the previous several weeks.
If there was ever a moment for Dallas to win a huge game and make their presence known just before the playoffs began, it was now.
The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys by a score of 25-22.
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images/Leighton Vander Esch #55
Dallas, on the other hand, was unable to clinch that coveted 12th victory in Week 18. They were defeated 25-22 by Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals, giving Arizona some much-needed momentum late in the season.
For what it’s worth, the Cowboys played a full game. Dak Prescott threw for three touchdowns and over 200 yards, but Chase Edmonds, the Cardinals’ starting running back, was limited to just 2.9 yards per carry by the Dallas defense. On paper, this seems to be a game that Dallas should have won.
Kyler Murray, on the other hand, returned to the spotlight with a big-time performance in a big-time position. He piled up over 300 yards of total offense and two touchdown passes. In the end, his outstanding effort was enough to give the Cardinals the victory on the road.
Leighton Vander Esch, a linebacker, blames the officials for the defeat.
LB for the Cowboys “It was a horrible fumble,” Leighton Vander Esch says. “I just don’t see how, with the technology we have now, even if we don’t have timeouts or whatever it is… Certain things are self-evident…. We seem to be up against the referees more than other teams.”
— January 3, 2022, Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL)
Following the defeat, Cowboys players were quick to voice their displeasure with the game’s officiating. Leighton Vander Esch, the starting linebacker, was furious.
“It was a complete blunder,” Vander Esch remarked. “I simply don’t see how we can… [not be able to] question it with the technology we have today, even if we don’t have timeouts or whatever it is.” It’s so self-evident. In certain games, some aspects are so evident that referees make mistakes. Why aren’t they doing anything about it? It’s incomprehensible to me. We’re playing more against the officials than other teams, in my opinion.”
“If you look throughout the league, this isn’t the first time something like this has occurred. There are other players in the league who have been told what to do. I’m not sure whether it’s ineptitude or something else. It doesn’t make sense to me, and it doesn’t seem difficult to correct.”
Because the Cowboys were out of timeouts, Vander Esch was alluding to a late-game fumble that was never called (and unable to challenge the ruling on the field). The Cowboys would have had a chance to win at the final second if the fumble had been ruled properly on the field.
After the disappointing defeat, Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb jumped in, stating that the officials “dictated” the game.
The Cowboys must concentrate on the playoffs.
Blown calls are aggravating at any time of year, but more so this late in the season. The Cowboys, in especially Vander Esch, must concentrate on the task at hand, which is to make a deep playoff run.
In the broader scheme of things, making an enemy of the referees fewer than two weeks before the playoffs begin is a horrible decision.
Referees are human, and they may readily notice Vander Esch and the Cowboys’ public reaction. Who’s to say it won’t catch up to them in the playoffs?
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Following the Eagles’ unexpected playoff berth, Howie Roseman should feel unstoppable.
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