Sources: Cowboys, AT&T near deal

Updated: July 23, 2013, 12:09 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys officials are close to a naming rights deal for Cowboys Stadium with AT&T, according to three sources.

AT&T is already a major sponsor with the Cowboys and currently has a plaza named after the company inside Cowboys Stadium.

Stephen Jones, the Cowboys executive vice president, would not comment when asked about the potential deal.

This spring, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wasn't in a rush to get a naming rights deal for the facility in Arlington, Texas, which opened on May 27, 2009.

"It's very important to us to have the quality and the kind of cache I'm talking about with the company we'd associate with," Jones said in the spring. "I'm pretty proud of the Cowboys, as you know. I've got a pretty high bar standard of who we would want to be almost associated with for the rest of time."

How much money the Cowboys will receive from AT&T is uncertain. Earlier this year, the San Francisco 49ers reached a 20-year, $220 million naming rights deal to call its new home Levi's Stadium.

In 2011, the New York Giants and Jets reached a 25-year deal with insurance company MetLife worth $17 million to $20 million annually.

Forbes magazine valued the Cowboys franchise as the highest in the NFL at $2.1 billion.

According to the magazine, the Cowboys generated more revenue ($200 million) from premium seating and stadium sponsorships than any other NFL team.

Forbes also said the Cowboys are the fifth most valuable sports franchise in the world.

Cowboys Stadium cost $1.2 billion to build, with the taxpayers of Arlington contributing $325 million. Jones paid the rest.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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