In Cowboys Stadium, a tour of Cotton Bowl and cheerleading headquarters

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Here are a few highlights from my tour of Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed structure, a month before the Cotton Bowl.

This stadium’s roof is as tall as the top of the Statue of Liberty’s torch.

In Texas, it is said everything is bigger. The Cotton Bowl’s executive staff, which includes 48 people whose titles include the words “president,” “owner,” “CEO,” “director” or “chairman,” is no exception. Nor is the Cotton Bowl’s trophy, which weighs in at 62.5 pounds, and is constructed by the same folks who trophies for the Oscar’s. The Super Bowl’s trophy, by comparison, is a waif-like seven pounds, the tour guide informed us.

Arkansas, which is 3-7-1 all-time in the Cotton Bowl, has its stateprints all over Cowboys Stadium.

Between 1977 and 1999, the Hogs played twice in the Cotton Bowl. They lost both games, including this one in which they fell 31-27:

Willy’s World extended to the gridiron, too. Through former Razorbacks Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson, he sampled the glory of the Cowboys’ 1990s dynasty.

Dear wife Susan, I only entered because I didn’t want to make my tour guide mad.

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Who are the Dallas Cowboys’ 34 cheerleaders? Most are college students, and only one is married, the Guardian of the Cheerleaders’ Chamber told us. They only cheer at home games, and have the show to themselves when Cleveland, New York and Detroit come to town. The Browns, Giants and Lions, you see, are the only NFL teams never to field their own cheerleading squads.

They bank a mere $150 per game for busting moves like Jagger, but have boucoup opportunities for self-promotion through various side gigs such as modeling for calendars, magazines and performing shows outside of the stadium.

Two cheerleaders have attracted national exposure this season:

Reich cheered the Cowboys while they tried to turn her boyfriend, a receiver on an opposing team, into mincemeat. He didn’t seem to mind.

In most situations, a Cowboys cheerleader can get in deep trouble for touching a Cowboys player. But when a player accidentally barreled into Melissa Kellerman during a recent game, it wasn’t the act itself – but her ensuing words which caused problems. On Twitter, she ribbed the player, Jason Witten, about his toughness. Management was not amused.

Outside of select team functions, the women aren’t allowed to mingle with the players they cheer. This is pretty standard policy across the league, although the San Francisco 49ers are one of the few teams that does allow its  players and cheerleaders to date.

Yet another opportunity for gold-digging.

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