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Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch ‘ecstatic’ about the Michael Bennett trade

Michael Bennett, Leighton Vander Esch

The Dallas Cowboys made a big addition to their defense last week, acquiring defensive lineman Michael Bennett in a trade with the New England Patriots, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is happy about it:

“He just brings energy,” Vander Esch said of Bennett, according to Jane Slater of NFL Network. “He’s radiant, so I love that about him, and he’s going to bring even more energy like that to our defense and it’s what we need. We love guys like that.”

The Patriots added Bennett during the offseason with the hope that he would be able to replace departed defensive end Trey Flowers, but he did not exactly fill Flowers’ shoes.

Bennett’s snap percentages in New England declined each week, leading to Bennett expressing frustration over his role and even being hit with a one-game suspension by the Pats for conduct detrimental to the team.

In six games with the Patriots, Bennett logged just six tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The 33-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Texas A&M, went undrafted but eventually landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He played only scarcely over his first couple of seasons, but by 2011, Bennett had begun to forge a role in the Buccaneers’ defense, totaling 39 tackles and four sacks.

Bennett then had a breakout year of sorts in 2012, registering 41 tackles and nine sacks.

He would proceed to link up with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, where he went on to have the most successful run of his career, making three Pro Bowl appearances and winning a Super Bowl.

Bennett spent five years in Seattle before joining the Philadelphia Eagles for one season in 2018.