Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys may have to finish the regular season without star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who is still ailing due to a neck injury.

Head coach Jason Garrett spoke with reporters Friday after Dallas’ brutal loss Thursday night to Chicago and made it clear he and his staff will not rush Vander Esch back into action.

The Cowboys selected Vander Esch with the 19th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Boise State. There were some pre-draft concerns about his history of neck injuries, but the Cowboys rolled the dice to land the highly coveted Brian Urlacher clone.

If the Cowboys do not get Vander Esch back this season, he’ll have tallied 72 tackles, 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble in nine games this season.