2:47 PM ET
The NFL will not be opening an investigation into the events surrounding the Dallas Cowboys‘ $2.4 million confidential settlement with four members of their cheerleading squad who accused a now-former team executive of voyeurism in their locker room in 2015, a league spokesman told ESPN on Friday.
The cheerleaders’ allegations, along with an additional allegation of voyeurism against Richard Dalrymple, the Cowboys’ longtime senior vice president for public relations and communications, are considered “a club matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
“The club handled the matter,” McCarthy said Friday.
The allegations involving Dalrymple were first reported by ESPN on Wednesday. According to documents obtained by ESPN and people with knowledge of the situation, the cheerleaders accused Dalrymple 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 several people with knowledge of the events and letters sent by attorneys for the cheerleaders to the team.
In the 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, who retired Feb. 2, did not respond to interview requests by ESPN. He 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. On Monday night, Dalrymple issued a statement calling both allegations false.
A Cowboys representative this week said the team thoroughly investigated both allegations and found no wrongdoing by Dalrymple and no evidence that he took photos or video of the women. The team does not dispute that Dalrymple used his security key card access to enter the cheerleaders’ locker room while the women were changing clothes. The Cowboys also issued Dalrymple a formal written warning in October 2015, a person familiar with the matter told ESPN. The team declined to share a copy of that warning or detail other information, including time-stamped data from surveillance cameras or security key cards, that would show precisely when Dalrymple entered and left the dressing room.
For the NFL, news of the Cowboys allegations comes as members of Congress question the transparency of the league’s inquiry into allegations of workplace sexual harassment against the Washington Commanders. Critics have questioned why the league did not release a report by the outside lawyer hired to investigate the Commanders. Documents released by the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee showed that league may not be able to release the investigation findings without the permission of Commanders owner Daniel Snyder.
In his news conference before the Super Bowl, commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters the league will control a new investigation of sexual harassment allegations surrounding the Commanders. Former marketing employee Tiffani Johnston told the committee this month about the team’s “toxic workplace” and accused Snyder of sexual misconduct.
Source: ESPN NFL