Cowboys near deal for facility in Frisco

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are on the verge of a deal to build a practice facility in another Dallas suburb in a move that would end their four-decade affiliation with Irving.

A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that a vote later Monday by the Frisco City Council is for a proposed agreement on a new training home for the Cowboys. The deal includes an indoor stadium that would be used by Frisco’s high school teams.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending approval by the city and school district in Frisco, about 30 miles north of Dallas.

The Cowboys were entirely a Dallas operation until 1971, when Texas Stadium in Irving opened. They played their first 11 seasons at the Cotton Bowl and had a training facility in Dallas.

Irving added the Valley Ranch headquarters in 1985, but the facility is showing its age as other NFL teams have been building fancier training homes.

The Cowboys moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2009, and now Irving is losing its last connection to the NFL about the same time the city got word that the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Classic would move to Dallas in 2018.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a sad day,” said Irving City Councilman Gerald Farris. “Irving is a very robust city, and we have a lot to be proud of.”

Farris said Irving was involved in discussions to keep the training facility.

“I think Irving works well with corporate America as well as anyone, including the Dallas Cowboys,” Farris said. “They’ve just chosen to do something different, and we’re still great fans of the Cowboys and have been for many years.”

The move to Frisco could also have implications for Oxnard and any other potential training camp homes for the Cowboys. The new facility with have an indoor field so the team can practice out of the heat, and the infrastructure will be in place for thousands of fans to attend.

As the deal with Frisco was being finalized, the Cowboys acknowledged that training camp in North Texas would be a possibility.

But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said he likes training in the mild climate in Oxnard and calls California part of the team’s legacy. Dallas has trained off and on in California for 50 years.