The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are arguably the most famous and recognizable cheerleading squad in the world. For over 50 years, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders have been roaming the sidelines in Texas. While the Cowboys have been unable to duplicate their previous Super Bowl success in recent years, the popularity of the cheerleading team has continued to grow.
History of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The first Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad actually consisted of both men and women. Dubbed the “CowBelles & Beaux”, the first incarnation of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders made their debut on the sidelines in 1960, which was also the Cowboys’ first season in the NFL. The cheerleading team was made up of local high school students. Men were a part of the group until 1969.
It was Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm who decided the image of the squad needed to be changed after a professional stripper caused a stir in the stands during a game in 1967. Schramm decided the cheerleaders needed new uniforms and wanted the squad to focus more on dance routines.
The squad began undergoing a makeover in 1970. The “CowBelles & Beaux” name was dropped and the “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” were born. Since 1972, the squad has consisted of only women 18 years and older. The change in personnel allowed the Cowboys to be more risqué with their outfits and attire.
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders began to garner even more attention when they began showing up on television in 1978. The made-for-TV moving titled “The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” starring Jane Seymour first aired in January 1979.
The cheerleaders went on to appear in a number of television shows and specials, including “The Love Boat”, “Family Feud”, “Hard Knocks”, “Saturday Night Live, “Late Show with David Letterman”, and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Today
Today, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are as popular as they’ve ever been. In 2006, a reality television show centered on making the team was launched. “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” documents the annual process of auditioning for the team.
The 36-member team also releases a swimsuit calendar every year. The current director of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders is Kelli Finglass, who was also a member of the squad from 1984-89.
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