Later this Spring, on the first Saturday in May, hundreds of women from all over the country and throughout the world will converge on AT&T Stadium to begin the grueling process of trying out for the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad.
My daughter will be one of them.
As a Dad of a competitive dancer, I’ve felt my share of nerves as my little girl performed in front of some tough judges at Dance Nationals. I have cringed at the site of my daughter executing an aerial and a back tuck on a rock-solid dance floor. I’ve also lost plenty of sleep over the dreaded competition fees. (“That’s OK, Honey, we’ll pay the mortgage next month.”)
As my youngest kid prepares for attempting to join the most elite group of cheerleaders in NFL history, there is one single fear I have that trumps anything I experienced as a Dance Dad.
No, it’s not the thought of a bunch of beer-guzzling men googling at my scantily clad daughter on Sundays (Do they really have to show those hi-def close ups of the girls on the 162×72 foot Diamond Vision?).
I experienced this barbaric behavior first hand a couple of years ago when I attended a Cowboys game with a friend from work. (We will call him “Joel” in order to protect the guilty). As the DCC squad performed their signature mid-field pre-game kick line I turned to find Joel busting out his Canon CN-E 30-300mm EF Mount Cinema Zoom Lens in order to get a super close up of the girls ending their routine with a synchronized split. In disgust, I blurted out: “C’mon Man, that’s someone’s daughter out there!” Joel quickly quipped back: “I don’t care, they aint my daughters!”
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
I’m not even worried about my precious daughter having her dreams dashed if she doesn’t happen to make the team. After all, this is not your everyday NFL cheer squad. These are the sideline entertainers for America’s Team.
My daughter could have tried out for the nearby Buffalo Jills, or maybe the Cincinnati Ben-Gals, or the Oakland Raiderettes.
But no, it’s DCC or bust for my daughter.
So if it’s not the incredible odds against making the team or the dirty old men, what could be keeping me awake at nights?
It’s the panel interview!
The candidates lucky enough to make it past the semi-finals of the tryouts the first weekend are welcomed back the next weekend for the dreaded panel interview. A team of judges led by Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, Charlotte Jones Anderson (Daughter of owner Jerry Jones), pepper the DCC candidates with questions about everyday life, current events, and Cowboys history.
What if my daughter is one of those girls that is featured on one of CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team episodes because she blows one of the questions thrown at her from the distinguished DCC judging panel?
I’ve seen it before and it can be ugly. A few years ago a returning member of the squad (yes, they all have to try out every season) was asked to name a current Dallas Cowboys running back. The young lady could not name a single running back from the team she spent the previous year of her life cheering for!
One girl answered “50 Yards” when asked how many yards are on an NFL football field… Yikes.
Another eager candidate was asked to simply name her favorite Cowboy. This one is easy! She practically jumps out of her chair and quickly answers… “Jason Witten, because I love the defense!”
As a lifelong Cowboys fan, a writer for the Landry Hat, and a developer of a Cowboys iPhone App, can you imagine the abuse I will take from the guys back at work if my daughter is the one that CMT features going down in flames this year?
It’s only the Cowboys questions that I’m worried about. If she can’t name any countries that border Iraq, a question asked of the 2009 DCC candidates, her high school teachers will be on the hook. (Let me save you the Google time – Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.)
If she can’t name the current Vice President of the United States (instead of Joe Biden, one girl thought it was Michelle Obama) or the Governor of Texas (Greg Abbott) I can blame her Facebook news feed for letting her down.
If she flops on Cowboys trivia, it’s all on me!
Hopefully, the years of seemingly senseless Cowboys roster debates over dinner between her older brother and I will pay off. When asked to name a current Cowboys running back she won’t just toss out DeMarco Murray (if he’s still around). She will be smart enough to go with Haltom, Texas native Lance Dunbar because she likes the spunk the change-of-pace back brings to the table.
When asked who is the most important player on the offense, she will pass on the easy picks of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant or even Cole Beasley (because she thinks he is cute). She will instead impress the panel with #77, Tyron Smith, the All-Pro offensive tackle at the core of the NFL’s best offensive line.
I really hope they ask her to name her favorite all-time Cowboy. She will be tempted to go with Roger Staubach because I forced her to watch the NFL Network’s Football Life episode on the legendary Cowboy. Instead she will wow the judges with Bill Bates. When asked why, she will say because her Daddy loved how the undrafted Bates clawed his way from being a special teams standout to a starting Safety and fan-favorite from 1983 until 1997.
For extra points she will quote Tom Landry who once said :
"“If we had 11 players on the field who played as hard as Bill Bates does and did their homework like he does, we’d be almost impossible to beat”."
She will go on to say how both her Dad and big brother both wore number 40 when they played ball. She will then tear up a little (but not too much) when she says she hopes to have a son someday that wears the number 40.
However, the most important question of all… does my daughter read her Dad’s weekly Landry Hat posts?