CMT goes behind the scenes with “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders”

By Tom Comi

I an currently a Washington Redskins fan who grew up rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, so suffice it to say I have been conditioned for the past 35-plus years to despise the Dallas Cowboys. So how is it possible that I have been drawn to the cheerleading squad of my biggest sports nemesis?

The answer is easy when the group is the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, arguably the most famous ensemble of their sort in all of sports. It would be easy to say it is merely based on their looks, but my infatuation with this squad dates back to before I even went through puberty. There was just something really cool about them that transcended my hatred for the Cowboys.

CMT not only explores this phenomenon, but it offers a behind-the-scenes look at the highly-competitive auditions to make this prestigious team that dates back to 1960. Premiering its sixth season tonight at 10pm ET/PT, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team follows 500 hopefuls trying to make the cut.

Team director Kelli McGonagill Finglass, choreographer Judy Trammell and executive Charlotte Jones Anderson have their hands full after 15 members retired from last year. These women have the daunting task of cutting the field down to 122 contestants, of which only 69 will be invited to the final auditions.

And for those who think this group is solely about sports or women dressed in provocative uniforms, you are missing the big picture. They have appeared in many movies over the years — their 1980 film The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders was the second highest-rated TV movie ever — and make appearances all over the world. They have even performed with countless celebrities ranging from Shania Twain to Beyonce.

One could actually argue that this collection of spirited women is more famous than the very team they cheer for, which is fine by me. I will always hate the Dallas Cowboys, but I’ve learned to appreciate their cheerleading squad. And if you tune into CMT tonight, I think you’ll see why.


Credit: Richie Humphreys/CMT