New speculation about the sale of the Dallas Cowboys - known as "America's Team" to many - apparently includes a group of businessmen from Japan.

NBC reporter Jim Gray, appearing Sunday on the program NFL Live, said a group of Japanese businessmen had approached the Cowboys wanting to negotiate a purchase.Gray said he had spoken to Cowboys president Tex Schramm.

"He told me that, `Yes, we have had some offers we are entertaining, but everybody says they have money,' " Gray quoted Schramm as saying. "I then asked him if the Cowboys would in fact sell to a group of foreign investors and he said, `Maybe. That depends, but that decision would be up to (team owner) Bum Bright.' "

Meanwhile, Dallas Times Herald columnist Skip Bayless reported Sunday that Dallas Mavericks owner Donald Carter - a Dallas native - had made an initial offer to buy the Cowboys.

The NFL has a rule against its owners aquiring teams in other sports. But Carter said he could sell the Mavericks to his wife, Linda, and prove he did nothing more than attend games. Carter said he has asked NBA commissioner Donald Stern "if he'd mind having Linda as a governor (or owner). He said he wouldn't."