Written by Jay Betsill
Cameo day is big for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as Valley Ranch is practically transformed from America's Team headquarters into a huge production studio in order to take the ladies' publicity photos that will be published worldwide. The photograph that is selected for each individual DCC is how they will be identified to all of their fans.
The cheerleaders arrived throughout the day with the first call time being 7:30 a.m. and going all the way through 7:30 p.m. Two girls would arrive at the bottom of each hour, when they would receive the celebrity treatment of having their hair and makeup professionally done by the official hair salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Halycon Days Salon & Spa at Neiman Marcus.
"Today is always rewarding because you get to see your final shot," said four-year veteran Veronica. "This is your representation to all of the Dallas Cowboys fans. From the cards we sign to our thank you notes, it all originates from today.
With training camp still in full swing, there is a lot riding on this day for all of the cheerleaders. If they do not look good in their uniform on camera, it could have an impact on whether or not they make the team. For the training camp candidates, this is a momentous occasion as it is the first time they put on the iconic uniform that was specifically handcrafted to fit them with absolute perfection.
"This is my first time to have the uniform on and it is very cool," said Melissa, auditioning for what would be her rookie season with the DCC. "Everyone keeps walking by the mirror to stop and do a double-take. You see other girls with the uniform on and imagine what it would look like, but I would say it's very surreal to see the uniform on me."
Having their actual cameo photo taken is only the beginning of this day as there are multiple stations for each of the DCC to visit throughout the Valley Ranch complex. Some of the ladies are interviewed by CMT for the upcoming Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 9 that premieres Friday Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. Everyone visited the racquetball courts where a huge "green screen" was set up to film the videos that play on the video board at AT&T Stadium during the Cowboys home games. The last station they all visited was near the atrium where head coach Jason Garrett meets the media after practice. The area was set up to take pictures for a new interactive feature at this season's games that will allow fans to scroll through photos of the DCC at kiosks throughout the stadium.
Perhaps the best way to sum up Cameo Day at Valley Ranch came from second-year veteran Abby, who said, "Today has been awesome, crazy, spectacular, really fast-paced and basically amazing."
The glitz and glamour of Cameo Day came to an end shortly after 1:00 a.m. and the very next evening it was back to training camp for the America's Sweethearts. On their way out of Valley Ranch, the candidates had to turn back in their uniforms because until director Kelli Finglass officially announces the team, the uniforms do not belong to them yet. And in some cases, it could be the only time they actually wear the outfit and legendry boots.