VP backs Cowboys’ culture amid voyeurism claim

VP backs Cowboys’ culture amid voyeurism claim

INDIANAPOLIS — Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones did not comment on an ESPN report regarding a $2.4 million settlement the organization paid four cheerleaders after a voyeurism allegation was made against a senior executive in 2015.

But he was asked about his feelings regarding the culture of the organization.

“I feel like we have a solid culture,” Jones said after a break in competition committee meetings at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. “You can always be better. You strive to get better every day in every area. So that’d be my comment.”

According to documents obtained by ESPN and people with knowledge of the situation, the cheerleaders accused Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys senior vice president of public relations and communications, of using his security key card to enter the back door of their locked dressing room during an event at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 2, 2015. One of the women alleged she clearly saw Dalrymple standing behind a partial wall with his iPhone extended toward them as they were changing their clothes, according to people with knowledge of the events and letters sent by attorneys for the cheerleaders to the team.

In a second allegation, a Cowboys fan who was watching a livestream from the team’s war room during the 2015 NFL draft swore in an affidavit that he saw Dalrymple take “upskirt” photos of Charlotte Jones Anderson, a team senior vice president and the daughter of owner Jerry Jones. The alleged incident was raised by the cheerleaders’ attorneys during settlement talks and cited in the final document, which includes a nondisclosure agreement barring the cheerleaders, their spouses and Cowboys officials from discussing either episode.

Dalrymple told team officials he entered the cheerleaders’ locker room to use the bathroom — not knowing the women were there — and left right away, a team source said. In a statement, Dalrymple, who retired in January, said both allegations were false.

“I don’t have anything to add to what [Jerry] said and what our statements have been,” Stephen Jones said.

Last week, Jerry Jones told the NBC affiliate in Dallas, “First of all, the cheerleaders are iconic. A vital part of what our organization is, the Dallas Cowboys. We took these allegations very seriously. We immediately began to look-see, an investigation into the situation. I can assure you that had we found that it need be, there would have been firings or there would have been suspensions.

“As it turns out, in the best interest of our cheerleaders, and the best interest of the organization, in the best interest of our fans, what we decided to do was show the cheerleaders how seriously we took these allegations and we wanted them to know that we were real serious and so the settlement was the way to go.”

The NFL said earlier this month that it won’t be opening an investigation into the matter.

Jerry Jones is expected to meet with reporters later this week in Indianapolis.

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