Jason Garrett emotional after learning Babe Laufenberg’s 21-year-old son died

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had a hard time fighting back tears. He learned shortly before his press conference that Babe Laufenberg’s son died Thursday morning after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.

Luke Laufenberg was 21.

Babe Laufenberg is a former Cowboys quarterback who now is the team’s radio analyst.

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“Luke was an amazing young man,” Garrett said, not taking any questions afterward. “You guys have heard me talk about fight a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better example of that in my life. What he’s gone through over 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. You’d walk into the room and he’d just light up. Whatever was going on, he just had this way, this strength unlike I’ve ever seen. Unlike I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s such a tragedy. It’s so hard to understand. But I know I will and everybody who ever knew him will be forever inspired by the life that he lived.”

Luke Laufenberg, a tight end, walked on at Texas A&M before transferring to Mesa Community College in Arizona. He was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma in 2017.

He signed with UTEP in February but returned home in April because of his health issues.

Babe Laufenberg, a sixth-round pick of Washington in 1983, grew close with Troy Aikman and Garrett during his short stint as a Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

Aikman and Garrett frequently visited Luke.

“Today we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior,” Babe Laufenberg wrote on social media. “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.”

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