'America’s Sweethearts': How much are the NFL's Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders paid?

Netflix's new documentary titled ‘America’s Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders,’ delves into the journey of becoming an NFL cheerleader, from auditions to in-game performances.

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Netflix has recently released a documentary titled ‘America’s Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders,’ which delves into the journey of becoming an NFL cheerleader, from auditions to in-game performances. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) are among the most renowned cheerleading squads in the United States, celebrated for their iconic uniforms and routines.

According to a 2022 article by NBC Sports Boston, Cowboys cheerleaders earn between $15 and $20 per hour, which translates to approximately $75,000 annually. This figure is more than triple the average NFL cheerleader salary of $22,500. However, contrasting this report, Kat, a 2022 DCC alum, revealed in the documentary that her earnings were comparable to those of a full-time fast food employee. “I would say, I’m making like a Chick-fil-A worker that works full time,” Kat stated. According to ZipRecruiter, a full-time Chick-fil-A worker in Texas earns about $32,937 annually.

Charlotte Jones, the Cowboys' executive vice president and chief brand officer, addressed the issue of low wages for NFL cheerleaders, acknowledging the widespread criticism. “There’s a lot of cynicism around pay for NFL cheerleaders — as it should be. They’re not paid a lot. But the facts are, they actually don’t come here for the money. They come here for something that’s actually bigger than that to them,” Jones explained. She emphasized that the cheerleaders are motivated by a sense of belonging, the formation of lifelong relationships, and the fulfillment of a greater purpose. “It is about being a part of something bigger than themselves. It is about a sisterhood that they are able to form, about relationships that they have for the rest of their life. They have a chance to feel like they are valued, they are special, and they are making a difference. When the women come here, they find their passion and they find their purpose.”

The seven-episode documentary is available for streaming on Netflix and will soon be accompanied by a documentary on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.