ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are off on the wrong foot before their playoff opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch's name was misspelled on the back of his No. 55 jersey during pregame warmups. The “c” and “s” were transposed in his last name. Vander Esch was still wearing the botched jersey in the game.
The fourth-year player is in the final year of his rookie contract after the Cowboys didn't exercise the fifth-year option in their first-round pick from 2018. Vander Esch was the 19th overall choice.
While his future with the Cowboys remains a question, Vander Esch has had a solid season playing in the shadow of linebacker Micah Parsons, who shattered the club rookie record with 13 sacks. Parsons is a favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Cowboys and 49ers are renewing a playoff rivalry that's been dormant for 27 years since they played in three consecutive NFC championship games.