Dallas Cowboys 2016 Cheerleader Scandal is a black eye on the blue star

As someone raised to bleed Cowboys blue this article is a bit more personal than some of the others I’ve written. With that, it’s important to bring to light all instances of unchecked alleged sexual misconduct in the NFL, especially those in arguably it’s biggest brand.

On February 16th, ESPN released an article revealing that in 2016 the Dallas Cowboys reached a 2.4 million dollar settlement in a lawsuit from four members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders alleging that now, former longtime executive Richard Dalrymple entered through a rear door of the designated cheerleader locker room and recorded them as they changed clothes. The lawsuit included an additional allegation that Dalrymple took “upskirt” photos of fellow Cowboys executive and daughter of Jerry Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson during the 2015 draft. Dalrymple for his part denies the allegations and a team investigation resulted in “no wrongdoing found” by Dalrymple.

The ESPN article does a great job going into detail on the allegations themselves and I highly recommend reading the article. As not to be redundant I will primarily focus on providing analysis here and in a second article examining the impact on the league as a whole.

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The Cowboys are a “Boys Club”

It doesn’t take long to get into the article to find glaring inconsistencies in the club’s handling of the allegation. The largest being that the team was left to investigate itself. This was an issue in the issue with the now Washington Commanders in their workplace scandal and now it appears to be the culture of the NFL as a whole. Any team allowed to investigate itself will always find itself out of fault. It’s just that simple.

The flawed investigation performed by the team involved the team confiscating Dalrymple’s work phone and obtaining his corporate icloud password. However they didn’t take his personal phone, because he simply stated he didn’t have one. If you were going to something illegal, would you do it on your work phone?

Another issue is that the team took eight days to interview the cheerleaders. When it did seemingly did so with a conclusion already drawn to the incident. Dalrymple claimed to simply be looking for a bathroom when he walked in an immediately walked out. It seemed that investigators had already decided his version was accurate.

The Cheerleaders deserve better. As do we all

When this issue reared it ugly head in Washington D.C. I attacked the team and the league even as the mainstream media decided to look the other way. I feel that it’s even more necessary here.

Its not for me to go out and declare that he was guilty (though the settlement certainly implies it. We were never allowed a real investigation. That’s the point however, we need and deserve a real investigation. His accusers deserve a real investigation. We need… We all deserve to know if this man was guilty of these horrible and disgusting allegations. Yet, there will likely never be one .

Instead Dalrymple was allowed to stay in his role with the team for six additional years. He was allowed to conveniently and quietly retire when ESPN began making calls about the incidents.

The four Cheerleaders deserve better. Charlotte Jones Anderson deserves better than to be forced to work with a predator for six years in her father’s company. We all deserve better. Unfortunately we will likely never get “better”.