TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders made an important stop in Tyler on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of the founder of the team, Dee Brock.
“I hadn’t realized I had made such a good impression,” said Brock. “I am so happy about that.”
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders began in the 1960s with Brock managing the first team of high schoolers.
“Being under Dee’s tutorship, the kindness that she showed, the encouragement, the warmth to a 16-year-old high school girl, it’s amazing what encouraging words and kindness can do,” said Eunice Taylor Cicero, a member of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in 1965.
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders would not be where they are today if Dee had not worked hard to integrate African Americans.
Cicero was one of the first women of color who joined the team and it changed her life forever.
“Thanks to Dee, I’ve had the pleasure of being one of the first African American cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys, and at 16, oh my,” said Cicero.
In 1971, Tex Schramm and Brock decided to change the team into a more choreographed squad and upped the age of the cheerleaders.
“Without her, I definitely wouldn’t be here,” said KayDianna Davis a member of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in 1965. “I am who I am today thanks to Dee, so thank you for everything.”
The Dallas Cowboy team bus rolled up filled with past and present cheerleaders all to honor Dee.
“Since Dee is here in East Texas, I think Dee is truly a yellow rose out of East Texas, and everyone should be proud and celebrate her 60 years of impression and legacy with the Dallas Cowboy,” said Kelli McGonagill Finglass, director of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
During her time with the team, she impacted generations, and on Saturday, those she touched joined her at her Tyler home.
“We have cheerleaders from the 60s to today here, and they are all here to celebrate Dee’s legacy and her contributions to our organization and to our community,” said Finglass.
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders presented Brock with a lifetime achievement award in the form of a rhinestone football. Marking a lifetime of paving the way for remarkable women.
“It makes me very proud to know I got it started and they’ve taken it on, and doing a great job. So, I would say just keep on loving the cowboys, and keep on cheering all you can,” said Brock.
Brock has lead an amazing life and will be celebrating her 93rd birthday June 6th.