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Cowboys' Jerry Jones defends workplace culture amid voyeurism settlement revelation

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended the culture within the organization on Monday after it was revealed last month the team reached a $2.4 million confidential settlement with four cheerleaders who accused a former executive of secretly recording them in a locker room in 2015.

Jones spoke publicly for the first time about the settlement at the NFL’s annual meeting in Florida.

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 19, 2021. © Provided by FOX News Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 19, 2021.

"When you spend going-on-30-something years, saying, ‘Look at us, hey, wait, you’re looking away, look at us, we’re the Cowboys’—when you go that way, then when you have some things you may not want to look at, you get looked at," he said, via USA Today.

Jones said it was in the best interest of the organization’s "constituency" to settle and come to terms on a nondisclosure agreement. 

Richard Dalrymple, the senior vice president for public relations and communication, was the executive accused of wrongdoings in the ESPN report in February. One of the four members of the cheerleading squad alleged she saw Dalrymple stand hidden in a locker room with his phone recording women without their knowledge as they undressed.

Jones said Dalrymple, who retired in February about two weeks before the report surfaced, retired "on his own terms." He added the settlement was "an effort to adjudicate guilt or innocence and defended the workplace environment."

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, on Jan 16, 2022. © Provided by FOX News Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, on Jan 16, 2022.

"I’m very proud of our workplace culture. I’m extraordinarily proud. We have great systems, we have great HR, we have a high sensitivity. I’m proud of all our ratios that we have, a lot of the social aspects of our workplace. Extraordinarily proud of it," he said, adding there was always room to improve.

Dalrymple, who retired in February, was also separately accused by a fan of taking "upskirt" photos of owner Jerry Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, who works as a team senior vice president, during the 2015 NFL Draft. 

A Cowboys representative told ESPN that both incidents were investigated and no evidence of wrongdoing was found. There was no denial that Dalrymple accessed the cheerleaders' locker room, but Dalrymple told officials that he did so by accident and left once he realized the women were in the room.

"If any wrongdoing had been found, Rich would have been terminated immediately," a team representative told ESPN. "Everyone involved felt just terrible about this unfortunate incident."

Dalrymple also issued a statement to the outlet last month denying the allegations. 

"People who know me — co-workers, the media and colleagues — know who I am and what I'm about," he said. "I understand the very serious nature of these claims and do not take them lightly. The accusations are, however, false. One was accidental and the other simply did not happen. Everything that was alleged was thoroughly investigated years ago, and I cooperated fully."

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium, on Oct 3, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. © Provided by FOX News Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium, on Oct 3, 2021 in Arlington, Texas.

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Dalrymple said the allegations "had nothing to do with my retirement from a long and fulfilling career, and I was only contacted about this story after I had retired."

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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