The late John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” For several women, “saddling up” means auditioning for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. I was invited to be a judge for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader this past month. The experience taught me what it truly means for these women to try out.
Hundreds of women from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, and other NFL teams come to audition before a crowd of beautiful competitors and a panel of judges. They do this in hope of putting on one of the world’s most recognizable uniforms. After the auditions, 45 will be invited to a grueling, three-month long training camp, but only a lucky 36 will make the team.
The amount of time and work is gruesome, but it’s the heart these women show that is most impressive. Early in the competition, I asked one of the veteran judges, “Why would some of these girls audition, knowing they might not make the team?” She explained to me the significance of simply trying out. “It’s bigger than just making it. Some of the competitors are teachers and have motivated their students by saying, ‘if you do this, I will try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.’ Others have promised themselves, ‘If I can beat cancer, I am trying out.’ For a lot of these women, it’s bigger than just making the team. It’s about achieving a personal goal.” It’s their courage that makes each and every one of them winner, regardless of whether or not they make the team.
The women on “America’s team” have worked hard to wear the iconic blue and white uniform. And since 2011, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have been wearing their classic white Lucchese cowboy boots. It only seems fitting to have these world-class ambassadors wear the world’s finest cowboy boots.