STAR: Erica Overwhelmed, Grateful By DCC Swimsuit Cover Honor

By: Jacie Scott

Erica knows something you want to know.

At least that's what she was thinking, the look she was trying to create, while posing in front of the camera that ultimately created the cover photo for this year's *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine *swimsuit edition.

It was a Tuesday on the beaches of the Imanta Resort in Riviera Nayarit. Photographer Jeremy Shelby and his crew were in a race with the sun, as they had just minutes before losing light for the day. Shelby was enthusiastically giving feedback while members of the hair and makeup crew bobbed in and out of the shot for touch-ups.

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As exhilarating as it all was, Erica's demeanor remained calm. She shifted her weight back and forth, transitioning from one pose to another and maintaining intense eye contact with the camera, all while thinking, "I know something you want to know."

"Someone asked me if I knew when I took that shot if that was it. For me, no," she said. "You never know what our directors, fans and all the people that are involved in the process of picking the cover will think. So I'm just honored and so grateful to be in this position."

Director Kelli Finglass revealed the exciting news to Erica on June 13 at the beginning of a training camp rehearsal, surrounded by teammates and incoming candidates. The third-year-veteran had to do a double take to realize it was indeed her face on the cover.

"It was an overwhelming feeling of excitement and disbelief," she said with a laugh. "You're like, what? That's really me!"

Last year was Erica's first experience on a calendar shoot, or even shooting photos in a swimsuit for that matter. But, don't let that fact fool you. The Friendswood, Texas, native is no stranger to the camera.

A performer her entire life, Erica began dancing at her mom's studio, Star Steppers, at the ripe age of 3. She danced competitively, winning numerous first place solo awards, and danced on her high school drill team before continuing in college.

The stage is where Erica shined. In front of the lights, the cameras, the crowds, she felt she could captivate an entire room. And more often than not, she did. That experience growing up paired with the lessons she learned in her rookie calendar shoot helped her exude the confidence seen in her shots this year.[embeddedad0]

Though she admitted to channeling a mysterious expression when posing for her calendar shoot, there was more to her thought process than just that. 

"I think there's a way to still be sultry while remaining tasteful," Erica said. "We are America's Sweethearts, so I always try to keep that in mind when I'm posing. Like, would my grandma hang this up in her living room?"

Indeed she would. Check out Erica and the rest of your favorite cheerleaders in the latest edition of Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Get yours today at http://bit.ly/1isc6c2.

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