Also On The Clock This Weekend – The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders


By the end of this weekend all NFL Draft eligible college football players will finally know their fate. This weekend will also begin the draft process for another group of very talented individuals, the 2015 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad.

This Saturday, some 500+ dancers from around the country (and the world) will converge on AT&T Stadium in a quest to achieve their dream of joining the most widely acclaimed professional sports cheering team in the world.

Unlike most returning veteran Cowboys football players, returning DCC members have to re-audition each year.  Imagine if Tony Romo and Jason Witten came to training camp every summer in Oxnard, CA without a contract and with absolutely no guarantee of making the team.

According to the statistics portal, Statista, the average career length of an NFL player that makes his club’s opening day roster in his rookie season is 6 years.  The shelf life of a DCCer is much shorter. The average tenure of the 36 members of the 2014 DCC team was only 2.5 years.

More from The Landry Hat

Only ten girls made the 2014 DCC roster as rookies.  Two veterans have been with the team five years or more. The most senior dancer is McAllen, Texas native Sydney Durso, who has entertained Cowboys fans for the last seven seasons.  Sydney also holds down a day job as a fashion/graphic designer and carves out some time each week to co-host the Talkin’ Cowboys radio show.

Just like Dallas Cowboys players, DCC members come from all over the country, and the world.  The 2014 squad features dancers that are originally from 16 different states as well as two girls who call Australia home.  Almost half of the girls (17) are home-grown Texans.  Dancers from as far away as Florida, California, New York, and Minnesota also wore the DCC stars last season.

Speaking of the stars, fifteen of them appear on the iconic, and of course trademarked, blue and white blouse, vest, and shorts combo worn by the cheerleaders.  The internationally recognized uniform has been slightly tweaked a half dozen times over the years in order to keep up with fashion trends.

Dallas fans can thank Paula Van Waggoner, of the Lester Melnick store in Dallas, for the design of the internationally recognized DCC uniform. (Ok, enough fashion talk, I could feel my testosterone level declining as I typed all that!)

When former Cowboys president and general manager Tex Schramm introduced the world to the first DCC squad in 1972, he could never have imagined how insanely popular the brand would become.  Over the years, America’s Sweethearts have appeared in several TV commercials, network specials, late night shows, movies, and most recently, handed out awards on national television during the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards held at AT&T Stadium back on April 19th.

While all the TV exposure is impressive, it’s the off-camera events that truly make the DCC stars shine.  Through the entire calendar year DCC uniforms are spotted at numerous charity events.  From honoring our troops with USO tour visits overseas, to appearing at Veterans hospitals, Cancer Society events, and United Way activities as well as helping the Make A Wish Foundation and with their annual visits to numerous nursing homes and children’s hospitals, these amazing women have a significant positive impact on society.

So just how do they whittle down hundreds of talented dancers into one finely tuned troupe of 36?  Since Country Music Television’s reality TV cameras have been covering the DCC tryouts for the past nine seasons, we have a pretty good idea how it will go this year.

It all starts on Saturday with the preliminary round.   The candidates will be separated into small groups and each will be given a few short minutes to impress the judging panel with their best improv dance moves.

One of the the key members of the panel is typically Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive VP and chief brand officer of the Cowboys and daughter of owner Jerry Jones.  The judges will simply mark Yes, No, or Maybe for each prospect.

On Sunday, semi-finals typically involve the girls learning and then performing some new choreography as well as showing off their skills in the all-important kick line sequence.

After the first weekend about 85 or so girls are selected to move on to the panel interviews on Friday, May 8th.  All the returning DCC members will join the new candidates at this point.  This is where the real fun begins.

Sure, being a great dancer is huge. But if you don’t know who the Vice-President of the United States is, can’t name a current Cowboys running back, or if you struggle to carry on a conversation with the panel, you are in trouble.

Finally, we get to the finals.  Sunday, May 9th, is when all the girls left standing perform their original solo dances, hoping to leave the judges, and especially DCC director Kelli McGonagill Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell, with a lasting positive impression.

After all that, the candidates will nervously wait as the judges gather in the DCC draft war room and make the final decisions on which girls will be sent to DCC training camp 2015.

That’s right… they are not done yet. Starting June 1st the final 43 or so DCC training camp invitees will dance their butts off deep into the hot Texas summer and the candidates will eventually be thinned down to the final 36 lucky ladies.

The 2015 edition of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will then be set to take to the field (actually the sidelines) for the Sunday Night Football season opener at AT&T stadium against the New York Giants.

Good luck to all the 2015 DCC candidates!

Next: 14 Dallas Cowboys Full Seven Round Mock Drafts - Final Predictions