10 Year Anniversary of the Cowboys.com Auction


One thing you will notice on yesterday’s report about professional sports team domain names is that the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, does not own Cowboys.com. For those who may be new to the domain name industry, there is a pretty wild story about why the franchise doesn’t own Cowboys.com today.

10 years ago this month, the Dallas Cowboys thought they purchased Cowboys.com at a Moniker live domain name auction for $275. After the auction, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys “misunderstood what the pricing system was” because their bid was actually for $275,000. As a result of this confusion, the Dallas Cowboys retracted their bid and did not purchase the domain name.

Making the story all the more interesting, the domain name ended up selling for $370,000 in the silent auction that followed the live auction. Cowboys.com was purchased by a group of investors. As I recall, some people in that initial investment group were privately (and profitably) selling ownership shares to other investors who wanted to participate, although that is based on my own recollection. YouTube has a couple of videos of interviews Darren Cleveland did with Eric Rice and Rick Schwartz shortly after the group won the auction:

Since that time, Cowboys.com has had a bit of an interesting history. For some period of time a few years ago, Cowboys.com was used as a dating website. That got quite a bit of press coverage as you can imagine. You can look at some of the entries on Archive.org to see how the domain name had been used in the past ten years. The domain name has also been offered for sale at various points of time.

If you visit Cowboys.com right now, you can see it forwards to an inquiry page on eNaming.com, the domain brokerage founded by Tracy Fogarty. I am not sure the current asking price of the domain name.

The Dallas Cowboys use DallasCowboys.com for their website, but I still think they should buy Cowboys.com. More than half of the teams in the NFL own their exact match nickname .com domain name, and the Cowboys franchise is the most valuable of them all.

The Cowboys.com saga is still one of the strangest stories I have heard in the domain business.


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