Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ Vander Esch living his best life with July wedding and a lab named Thor

Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Leighton Vander Esch became a fan favorite and burgeoning NFL star as a rookie in 2018.

He has his own AT&T Stadium sound effect, a beautiful yellow Labrador retriever, and he married his college girlfriend Madalynn Tucker in July. Oh, and he was named to the Pro Bowl and was selected as one of the NFL’s top 100 players. Not too shabby for the 23-year-old.

Vander Esch, who started a weekly segment on KTCK/1310 The Ticket on Tuesday, told the Bad Radio hosts that he loves the wolf howl sound effect that is triggered any time he makes a big play. His nickname, remember, is the Wolf Hunter. The hosts played the howl effect, which actually got his dog’s attention over the phone during the radio show.

“I love it,” he said. “And my dog was actually listening to that and he perked up and was like, ‘What is that?’ He’s sitting here listening right now.”

The lab’s name is Thor, which seems perfect.

“Obviously, the fans love it. It’s good energy in the stadium on game days,” Vander Esch said of the howl. “So anything that we can feed off of, [including] the fans, it makes it that much more enjoyable.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.