Gavin Escobar, a former NFL tight end, was found dead Wednesday in an apparent rock climbing accident. He was 31.
The accident occurred near Idyllwild, California. The Riverside County sheriff’s coroner’s office identified Escobar as well as another climber in 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh. They were found dead near Tahquitz Rock in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Per officials, Escobar and Walsh died at the scene while climbing a rock face. Escobar is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their two children.
Escobar spent five seasons as a tight end in the NFL. The Cowboys selected him in the the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of San Diego State. He suited up in 62 games with Dallas from 2013-16. Escobar hauled in 30 receptions for 333 yards and eight touchdowns. He last played in the NFL in 2018.
While at San Diego State, Escobar earned first-team Mountain West Conference honors in 2011 and 2012.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gavin’s family,” Aztecs head football coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. “I know his wife, Sarah, and daughters, Josey and Charlotte, were everything to him. Gavin was a great man, father, son and teammate, and will be deeply missed by all.”
Escobar began working as a firefighter in Long Beach, California, in February.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar,” the Long Beach Fire Department said in a statement, via Twitter.
Teammates, Fans Mourn Death of Gavin Escobar
Dez Bryant, a former Cowboys receiver, chimed in on social media upon hearing news of his former teammate’s death.
“Wow!!!! RIP Gavin Escobar,” Bryant wrote.
Cowboys fans on social media shared some of Escobar’s greatest moments in Dallas, including his famous flip into the end zone.
One fan shared a story in which he attended a Cowboys game and called Escobar catching a touchdown during the game.
“The first time I went to AT&T Stadium in 2013 I randomly yelled out “we need to throw a TD to Gavin Escobar here.” Next play he scored,” the fan wrote. “He did a cartwheel into the end zone and then did the “Weekend at Bernie’s” dance. It was the coolest thing. Very sad news man. RIP”