DCC Alumni Spotlight – Nancy Harrison
Nancy Harrison is someone you and I would consider a pioneer of the team we now call the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. During a time when you had to be a high school student to try out for the squad, Nancy, a 17 year old senior, was one of many to show up to tryouts in her culottes at Highland Park Gymnasium. To her excitement, she was one of the few who were selected for the 1968 CowBelles & Beaux, the coed cheer squad who represented the Dallas Cowboys Football Club. Under the direction of Dee Brock, 9 boys and 9 girls from Dallas spent their season cheering at Cotton Bowl Stadium and riding in an antique car at parades. Unlike today’s squad, they were known for their cheerleading skills and would do flips and partner stunts to pump up the crowds.
The biggest change since Nancy’s time on the team is the iconic uniform. In 1968, the ladies had two uniform combinations that they would wear. The first was a white Ivy league shirt with a blue and white pleated skirt, held up by suspenders that read ‘Cowboys’ across the chest. Their second uniform was the shirt and skirt with a white v neck sweater that had a Cowboys emblem on the chest. Both outfits were paired with knee socks and saddle shoes. The uniform could not be bought and was handed down from member to member year after year.
One of Nancy’s most memorable moments was during a football game at Cotton Bowl Stadium. She and her team would throw footballs into the crowd during games and send off huge helium balloons to keep the spirits high. Unfortunately, during a game, one of the balloons got caught on a light post and blocked the television camera. The game could not be televised, and she doesn’t recall ever sending balloons off from that day forward! She also remembers collecting the players’ chin straps after the games and hoping the team would make it to the Super Bowl so that they could go and cheer them on. Although the Cowboys did not go to the Super Bowl that year, it didn’t change the fact that they were young kids, grateful to get to do what they loved.
Nancy continues to cherish her time spent with the CowBelles and & Beaux, but when telling her friends about being a cheerleader for the Cowboys, always includes, “not the kind that they have now.” After her year on the team, she went to college at SMU and was a teacher for 40 years before retiring. She was also an instructor for NCA and traveled the nation teaching cheer. Nancy stays connected with the organization and has been part of a halftime show with a couple of women from her team. She still resides in the DFW area with her dog and feels honored to have represented the Cowboys organization.