The Story Behind Vander Esch’s Celebration Wolf Howl
When former Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch has reason to celebrate, he does it with a wolf howl. And it's not by chance. It turns out he's got a long history with wolves, and that makes a unique celebration even better.
If you watched the Dallas Cowboys play the New Orleans Saints last Thursday, you probably noticed that Leighton Vander Esch was a busy guy. He was all over the field, and it seemed like he was in on every play. Just like it was at Boise State, his influence on the field is huge with the Cowboys, and now he's influencing the web with his wolf howl celebration.
Vander Esch explained the wolf howl to USA Today and said wolves have always been part of his history. Growing up in Riggins, Vander Esch would go hunting with his dad quite a bit, and he owns a wolf-and-bear hunting business. They've also hunted wolves together in Alaska.
When the Dallas Cowboy coaches were watching Vander Esch before this year's draft, they nicknamed him the “Wolf Hunter” in video clips and on draft boards. Now he breaks it out on the field after some tackles and sacks, and teammates howl at him in the locker room. It's become a thing, and fans have been known to howl from the stands too. It's an easy celebration for fans to jump into, and it's been playing over the speakers at AT&T Stadium too.
If you have a daughter like I do that's totally into wolves, 55 will quickly become her favorite player. Vander Esch might be running back Ezekiel Elliott's favorite player too. Elliott said after the game that the wolf howl gives him chills. Probably because it means the defense has things under control and Elliott can relax and sip some Gatorade for a while on the sidelines.
Vander Esch has quickly become a star for the Cowboys, and now that the wolf howl is becoming a thing he's becoming a fan favorite too. This might be the biggest thing since Aaron Rodgers' championship belt swipe.
Wolves howl to rally the pack, and it sounds like Vander Esch is doing just that in Dallas.