In the Beginning
After the All-American Football Conference collapsed, The Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL in 1960. And boy did they make an impression. Like all things in Texas, their players were bigger and better than everyone else, sealing an iconic legacy for the Dallas Cowboys for decades to come.
As the team found its footing in the newly branded NFL, the last thing on their minds was cheerleader tryouts. So, unfortunately, those gorgeous southern ladies weren’t around to cheer on the cowboys in the beginning. Little did they know how the girls in blue and white would soon follow, grabbing the attention of the entire country.
We guess the first set of cheerleaders the NFL team had were a motley crew of high school students who cheered on The Cowboys from the sidelines. If you’re from the South, you know that Friday night football is the only thing on people’s minds in the fall. So, this is a pretty big deal for these kids.
These local Dallas high schoolers led crowds in cheers, boosting the energy for their team, and also showed their support for their favorite football players. Back in the ‘60s, these kids wouldn’t have been sporting short skirts and sparkly tops. Nope, they looked like they were going to church! They were called “CowBelles & Beaux.”
To prepare for the 1970 season, The Cowboys wanted to show off a whole new look for their cheerleaders. The squad became an all-female crew, and they were told to spice things up a bit on the field. They ditched those church clothes and showed off moves that were totally psychedelic, man!
Ten local high schoolers were picked to be on the cheer team, and they were also allowed to redesign the uniform that year. Apparently, that’s when they found their signature blue-and-white colors and bold bolts of white fabric that they still use today! Don’t forget those iconic gogo boots! They even released a made-for-tv movie called The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
The sequel for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders movie aired in January 1980, which launched a whole new era for our favorite girls. These movies launched the iconic squad of girls into the national spotlight and sensationalized their long legs, perky attitudes, and gorgeous hair. Everyone wanted to be a part of the squad.
Current choreographer for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders says that the ‘80s were also all about trying out new hairstyles for the girls. In an interview with People Magazine, she said, “Back in the '80s we tried different hairstyles, and I think our director liked that.” They were rocking long braids, giving the uniform a sporty look.
The Early '80s
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders basically wrote the book on what’s now called “Hairography.” You know, that fancy thing where they whip their hair around and it basically falls perfectly on beat. We’re not sure how they do it, but with a lot of practice (and a lot of hair) it can be done—and boy oh boy do we love it.
Back in the early ‘80s Judy Trammell says there were no hair extensions, so girls had to have a thick mane of their own! We love to joke about big ‘80s hair, but these girls pulled it off right. Trammell says this wouldn’t fly today though. It’s all about layers now, but hey...that’s how they get it to whip around perfectly.
By this point in the ‘80s, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders had ditched the early ‘80s braids and went with full, teased out, and sprayed hair. You know, that same hairstyle every girl had in the ‘80s! This era of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders was iconic. But the outfit still remained in its iconic blue and white colors.
The girls were also wearing big makeup with blue eyeshadow, red fingernails, and cherry red lipstick. They went real big with the hair and makeup so the crowd could see them from yards away. Trammell says, “We were yards away from our fans so it was like any stage: We tried to exaggerate everything. Now we have a huge, 60-yard, high-definition television board in our stadium, and it gets detail like none other.”
Fashion changed from the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, and so did the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. At the time, athletic wear started to become a trend, so the southern belles ditched their traditional hot pants and went with a high-cut short with a deep V cut-out! Fans at the time lost their minds!
Hair at this time also began to become a little more simple and natural. But the red lip was still all-the-rage. This cut of shorts sat higher on the hip bones, letting the girls ditch their belts. At the time aerobics were in, so of course, these girls had to stay on-trend. This may just be our favorite era.
The ‘90s ended the go-go boot for good, so this was the first year the team introduced the mid-calf Western boot. Because they're in Texas, a cowboy boot just seems to fit the aesthetic. Also at this time, they added their iconic white cowboy hats. Although they’re not featured much today, they were a big hit at the time.
Also, the ‘93 - ‘94 season was the first year the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were able to fit stones around the stars on their vests and shorts. Apparently, they had been trying to incorporate stones on their outfits for years, but the glue would turn the fabric yellow, but they got around this by putting the stars on a velcro base.
After a successful year with the rhinestones, they decided bedazzled stars weren’t enough. So, they added crystals on the fringe line of the vest as well. These rhinestones caught the stadium lights and glittered as the girls moved on the field. If you ask us, they should have been there since the beginning!
This was the year the two-pronged notch lapel was simplified to one point. This gave the uniforms a more modern look. This collar design remains on the uniform today. But they kept the puffy sleeves because it just wouldn’t be the same without them! Oh, and let’s not forget their signature tie-knot showing their mid-riffs.
In 2002, the hip-hugger belts made a comeback! As we know, the 2000s were ruled by lowrise jeans and tiny waists. Cowboys choreographer Judy Trammell said in an interview with People Magazine, “There is always the same number of stars on the belts, no matter the size, and there are always just three stars on each side of the vest.”
Long, straight hair was also the go-to look for those hairography moves. No bangs, just long layers the girls can whip around perfectly. Western had made a comeback at this point, so those big belt buckles were the perfect look for the time. One thing is for sure, we couldn’t get enough of these gorgeous girls.
As if the rhinestones and fringe weren’t enough, the team decided that a rhinestone belt buckle was what they needed. The team contacted Brad Oldam to design their new buckle, and they’ve used that design ever since! Hey, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right?
If you ask us, it looks like the shorts lost a few inches. 2006 was all about showing off what you had, and these girls didn’t disappoint! They were all at the top of their game, and not afraid to let you know. They also had a new pompom design that had short strips of tinsel. They didn’t want to take away from their drop-dead outfits after all.
In 2011, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders struck a deal with iconic boot brand Lucchese. Lucchese became the official outfitter for the DCC, and since then the girls have been rocking these legendary boots. Apparently, they were quite an adjustment at first.
Judy Trammell said, “When we first got them, we were trying to figure out the best way to stretch them.” Like with all good pairs of boots, they need to be broken in. So, the girls had to live with a few blisters until then! Apparently, the girls are notorious for not wearing matching socks underneath their boots!
In 2014, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders tried dancing without pompoms to see how it looked. They ultimately decided that the pom-poms completed their looks, so they kept them for now! Knowing these iconic girls, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that their pompoms are a custom shade of blue to match their vests!
Their pompoms are also custom-made, and the indie is made with a small baton that the girls can hold while they perform. Most modern pompoms are metallic, so they can shimmer in the stadium lights. That way the girls catch your eye when they’re giving it the old “rah rah, ree ree, kick ‘em in the knee knee!”
Every year, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders do everything they can to be better and better. They’re constantly adjusting their uniforms, moves, and even the whole squad. They have to be on their A-game no matter what. Absolutely no detail is overlooked, and their uniforms are no exception to the rule!
The most recent change to their famous uniform is an updated boot. They’re still a white western-style boot. However, the boot is much more pliable and lightweight. The uniforms are custom-fitted for every girl on the team, so be on the lookout for even higher kicks, gorgeous legs, and big smiles on the field.
The Handmaid’s Tale Uniform
If you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian series that shows what life would be like without feminism and a rational grip on fascist politics and ideology, you'll recognize these uniforms. The book and series point out key flaws in our society, especially regarding women’s rights. So, this hit series sparked someone to post this picture, unveiling the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in their “new” uniforms.
The robes were modeled after the red robes the characters wore to show their second-class status in society. Despite the buzz this picture caused on social media, it’s totally not real. It’s just a photoshopped scene from the show! However, this may be food for thought, even if it’s not really their uniforms. We’re looking at you, Texas!