Vander Esch, Cowboys Have New Celebration

Cowboys insider Mike Fisher explained the story behind the team's new celebration method

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 30, 2018 - 9:27 am

USA Today Images


After winning their fourth straight game – and ending the Saints’ 10-game winning streak – the Dallas Cowboys had a unique way of celebrating Thursday night.

“The No. 1 thing that you heard in (the locker room) was wolf howls,” 24/7 CBS Sports Cowboys Insider Mike Fisher said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “If you go back and watch the film, you’ll wonder why is Leighton Vander Esch and his running buddy at linebacker, Jaylon Smith – why are they cupping their hands around their mouths and hooting into the air? Well, Wolf Hunter is Vander Esch’s nickname given to him by Rod Marinelli, the defensive coordinator.”

There’s a reason for that.

“Growing up in Riggins, Idaho, that’s one of the things he did for sport,” Fisher said of Vander Esch. “He literally hunted wolves. Marinelli likes to give everybody a nickname, and that stuck now. So that’s what you were hearing in the locker room. When Dak Prescott saw that Vander Esch was going to go to the media podium, it was Dak Prescott leading the wolf calls in the locker room in honor of the young defensive standout.”

Vander Esch finished with a team-high 10 tackles, as Dallas beat New Orleans, 13-10. 

Several Cowboys have played pivotal roles in Dallas’ four-game winning streak – none more so, perhaps, than Amari Cooper, who is averaging six catches and 84.8 yards per game with the Cowboys. He has had at least 75 receiving yards or one touchdown in four of five games.

“I think he’s had a trickle-down effect that has really helped the offensive line,” Fisher said. “He opens things up for Ezekiel Elliott. Amari Cooper looks like the two-time Pro Bowler that the Cowboys believed him to be. They feel really good about having given up a first-round pick for him at age 24 because they believe there’s no way we would have ever drafted a player that good and that polished with that many credentials with a middle-of-the-first-round pick next year.”

The Cowboys will go for their fifth straight win against the Eagles (5-6) on Dec. 9. Kickoff is at 4:25 p.m. ET.