NFL Cheerleaders – A Comprehensive Guide

History of Cheerleading in the NFL
The first NFL cheerleading squad appeared in 1954. It belonged to the Baltimore Colts. They were actually part of a marching band, so they looked a bit different than the squads we see today.
baltimore colts cheerleader pic
So we have to give credit to the Colts for being the first. But it was in 1960 that the Dallas Cowboys began to find the magic formula.

At the time, a guy named Tex Schramm was the GM. He had a background in television, and understood the potential to turn an NFL team from just a sports team into an actual entertainment complex. There was a bit of a rough start, when he hired some models and plopped them out on the field. It wasn’t a huge success. At that point, he dropped the model idea and replaced it with CowBelles & Beaux, which was just a male/female group of high schoolers.

This was still a little ho-humm, until the 1967 breakout year. During a Cowboys game that year, one of the Dallas cheerleaders named Bubbles Cash (who happened to be a stripper as well as a cheerleader) hit the headlines with a fairly revealing outfit.
bubbles cash photobubbles cash pic

NFL Cheerleader Controversy
Although it’s mind-boggling, some NFL teams actually choose NOT to have a cheerleading squad. What are they thinking? The offenders are:
Buffalo Bills
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers
Actually, there’s a good reason for this. Just before the 2014 NFL season, a handful of former Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders sued the team for working them without pay.[1]

Add to that a 2014 lawsuit from a former Raiders cheerleader, saying the team paid her what amounted to less than $5 per hour. [3]

In 2014, Molly Shattuck was charged with a number of crimes. [4]

Since 2014, when some cheerleaders sued a team for not paying them (see out “Controversy” section), many teams have started paying their cheerleading squad. But think of it as lucrative. While a team mascot can make $65k/year [2], most cheerleaders only make minimum wage. Clearly, this is a very part-time job, a way to have fun (assuming the grueling hours of practice are enjoyable), and get plenty of exposure.

which are the hottest
which are the most popular
hiring process
how many cheerleaders on squad


Injuries, at least serious ones, are rare among NFL Cheerleaders. Most squads limit their activities to dance routines. Very few of them do stunts. In late 2014, a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader was injured while performing an aerobatic stunt. [5] She was carted out of the stadium on a stretcher, and went to the hospital.

In some cases, the subject of NFL Cheerleader outfits could be listed under our “controversy” topic. Some are quite revealing and scandalous. NFL teams have to walk the line between being entertaining and appealing to the male-dominated audience, and being suitable for prime time family viewing.

Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
Arizona currently has 26 ladies on the squad. There’s a little pride in the fact that they are the longest running squad, since they were established in 1977. Slightly less noteworthy, Meagan Welter was a member of the squad when she was arrested for fighting with her boyfriend. She also happens to be an Iraq War veteran.
Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader picArizona Cardinals cheerleader picArizona Cardinals Cheerleader pic Arizona Cardinals cheerleader picArizona Cardinals Cheerleader pic
Behind the scenes video of an Arizona Cardinals cheerleader photoshoot – link

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders
Initially introduced in 1962 as the Falconettes, they currently have 36 on their squad. In 2015, Brianna Stade made headlines as she traded in her cheerleading uniform in favor of a construction outfit. A local Atlanta company was proud to have her as their full-time employee. [6]
Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader picAtlanta Falcons Cheerleader picAtlanta Falcons Cheerleader picAtlanta Falcons Cheerleader picAtlanta Falcons Cheerleader picAtlanta Falcons Cheerleader pic
Video of the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders doing their thing.

Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders
The Ravens are one of the few squads in the NFL that are co-ed. They typically have 31 (female) members on their squad.
Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader PicBaltimore Ravens Cheerleader PicBaltimore Ravens Cheerleader PicBaltimore Ravens Cheerleader PicBaltimore Ravens cheerleader picBaltimore Ravens Cheerleader Pic
Pretty cool video link of a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading tryout.

Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders
Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleaders
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Houston Texans Cheerleaders
Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders
Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders
Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders
Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders
Video of Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders singing Call Me Maybe – link
Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
New England Patriots Cheerleaders
New Orleans Saints Cheerleaders
New York Jets Cheerleaders
Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders
Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders
San Diego Chargers Cheerleaders
San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders
Seattle Seahawks Cheerleaders
St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders
Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

[1] – NBC Sports – Buffalo Jills Sue Buffalo Bills
[2] – – Mascot vs Cheerleader Pay
[3] – SFGate – Raiders Cheerleader Sues
[4] – NYPost – Cheerleader Charged
[5] – CBS – Cheerleader Injured
[6] – Brianna Stade article