Sunday, February 24, 2008

Talking To Cheerleaders: Misty Duncan, Dallas Cowboys 

Posted by James at 2:18 PM ET

IGN: How did you end up becoming a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader? Was it always a dream of yours when you were young?

Misty Duncan: I actually never dreamed I could make a squad. I danced in college, but I wasn't able to give up performing; one of my girlfriends on the team auditioned and made it, so I thought I could make it. I started practicing a lot more, going to step classes, but I didn't make it the first year I auditioned, like several of the people on the team. After that, I worked really hard, and next year, I got in. It was so far out of my realm that I never really thought it was possible. Being here now is such a blessing.

Misty Duncan, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

IGN: What's the most rewarding part of being a member of the Cowboys cheerleading squad?

Misty Duncan: The best, most rewarding part is being able to give back to our community and be role models to little girls who want to emulate us, by being members of the squad and being successful in their career choices. Along with that, meeting people throughout the community for charity and hospital events, and meeting our fans and giving back to our community is really awesome.

IGN: What's it like to go on the USO tours?

Misty Duncan: USO tours are thrilling experiences, getting to meet our troops and being a part of that organization is such an honor. It's really tiring; we're up early in the morning and don't go to sleep till late at night, but to bring a little bit of America to wherever they're stationed is such an honor. My brother was in the Air Force for seven years and my sister-in-law was also in the Navy, so it hits home that way, too.

IGN: You went to the Pro Bowl this year. What's that like, and what's the process like for becoming a Pro Bowl Cheerleader?

Misty Duncan: It's an amazing experience. So fun to be there. There were so many Cowboys fans that it felt like a home game at times. Phenomenal group of women to be around, very successful. It's different for some teams. The majority are voted on by their teams, so the girls on our squad voted me in, which was a real honor.

IGN: A lot of players tend to opt out of the Pro Bowl game if they can find an excuse. Was there ever any thought that you might want to turn down the invitation to go to Hawaii?

Misty Duncan: No way! It's such a huge honor. Cheerleaders only get one opportunity to go to the Pro Bowl, so it's a huge honor for us and never dream of turning it down.

IGN: Do you ever get any strange gifts from fans?

Misty Duncan: No! Never any strange gifts. We do receive fan mail, but it's screened before we get it, so if we got something weird, I probably wouldn't ever get it. We have wonderful fans that are very thoughtful and nice, though.

IGN: What was the most embarrassing moment you've had on the field?

Misty Duncan: Oh, goodness. I've been fortunate enough to not have too many embarrassing things happen to me. When you're dancing in front of 65,000 people every Sunday, it's hard to be embarrassed about things. Um…I did walk out of the locker room with my zipper down once, but I discovered it before anyone noticed, fortunately. One girl fell during a pre-game routine, but it wasn't me! I can tell her embarrassing story for her.

IGN: How do you manage a career alongside being a member of the squad?

Misty Duncan: It's definitely the ultimate lesson in time management and organization. It was difficult my rookie year, but I figured it out and came up with a schedule that works.

Misty Duncan, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

IGN: Is there a point where you know, in the future, you're going to want to finish up your career as a member of the cheerleading squad? Are you going to just keep going until it's no longer fun?

Misty Duncan: This is my fifth year, and it's been an amazing experience, but I did decide recently to hang up the pom-poms. With our organization, it's a pretty big time commitment, and we're grateful of course, but at some point, it's a personal decision where I felt like it was time. It was definitely difficult, and I kept going back and forth, but last week I decided it was time to go.

IGN: OK, final questions. Favorite Cowboy?

Misty Duncan: Dat Nguyen! He's my favorite, he played for Texas A&M, such a hard-worker. I enjoyed his career. There are so many good players, my rookie year was the rookie year of so many good players with JasonWitten, Tony Romo, and Bradie James, so I feel like our careers have grown together.

IGN: And, finally, least favorite opposition player?

Misty Duncan: They've been really good. I'd have to say Eli Manning, because of the playoff game! I'm sure he's a great person. Only because I'm a sore loser!

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