Luke Laufenberg, the son of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg and a tight end at the University of Texas El Paso, has died after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. He was 21.
The elder Laufenberg posted on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 22 writing, “we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior. Have never seen a person battle like Luke Laufenberg, but he lost his fight with cancer.”
Today we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior. Have never seen a person battle like Luke Laufenberg, but he lost his fight with cancer. He was truly inspirational. The hole in our hearts will never be filled. You are my hero. RIP my sweet Luke. See you on the other side pic.twitter.com/HF1xfw19Xi
— Babe Laufenberg (@BabeLaufenberg) August 22, 2019
A former walk-on at Texas A&M, Luke Laufenberg played at Mesa Community College before getting diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma after his only season at the junior college in 2017. He was declared cancer-free in May 2018 before experiencing further complications this past spring. Luke Laufenberg never played for the Miners.
It was 98 degrees on July 10. Luke had lifted weights and was working on his routes. I loved coaching him. Receptive to coaching. Two days later, he was told he had 2-8 weeks to live. All he wanted in life was to play football. TY @UTEPAthletics @UTEPFB pic.twitter.com/ygmrRSzlgd
— Babe Laufenberg (@BabeLaufenberg) August 23, 2019
Babe Laufenberg started six games for San Diego in 1988 before going to the Cowboys. He was Troy Aikman’s backup in 1990, getting most of his playing time in the final two games when Aikman was injured. Babe Laufenberg went on to a successful TV and radio career in Dallas.
Luke Laufenberg attended Jesuit High School in Dallas before spending his senior year at a small suburban private school.
Mr. & Mrs. Laufenberg, Family, Friends, Teammates, We are saddened of this update on Luke. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you all. What an AWESOME person Luke was to Everyone! A young man of God who was the Signal Caller of his Faith. God Bless them all with your peace. pic.twitter.com/woGMhWD63f
— Brandon Bethel (@CoachBethel) August 22, 2019
A number of people expressed their condolences to Babe Laufenberg and his family on Twitter.
“I’m so sorry, Babe. Luke was such an awesome dude. He’ll be greatly missed,” said ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon.
“Babe, so sorry for your loss. He was a lovely young man. Thoughts with your family,” added Cowboys reporter Mike Fisher.
“Babe, I am so sorry for your loss. Luke was incredible and I was honored to interact with him here in El Paso. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my prayers,” added Kaylee Heck of KFOX.
Babe, I am so sorry for your loss. Luke was incredible and I was honored to interact with him here in El Paso. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my prayers.
— Kaylee Heck (@KayleeKFOX_CBS) August 22, 2019
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett became emotional at a press conference on Thursday.
“Luke was an amazing young man. You guys have heard me talk about ‘Fight’ a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever a better example of that in my life,” he said. “What he’s gone through the last couple of years, the spirit that he had every day. To battle through it, to always be thoughtful about the people in his life—‘How’s my mom doing, how’s my dad doing, how’s my brother doing?’ Amazing.”
Jason Garrett reflects on the life of Luke Laufenberg, son of former #DallasCowboys QB and current radio broadcaster Babe Laufenberg.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 22, 2019
UTEP coach Dana Dimel told WFAA in a statement: “Luke touched my heart and soul forever. His spirit and fight are a reminder to me of what it means to play and coach the game of football.”
Our thoughts are with the Laufenberg family today as we mourn the loss of one of our own.
Rest In Peace, Luke. ???? pic.twitter.com/SslceK7Fhd
— UTEP Football (@UTEPFB) August 22, 2019
The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this article.