The Dallas Cowboys are more than just a popular NFL team. They are one of the most popular and valuable professional sports teams in the entire world.
When it comes to the NFL, no other team is even close to the Cowboys and their $6.5 billion value.
At this point in time it is easy to assume the Cowboys will top such a list of the NFL's most valuable teams. Generations of fans have known the Cowboys as "America's Team," and that is not going to change anytime soon.
But why are they in this position? How did the Cowboys become such a valuable empire for Jerry Jones and his family?
The NFL in general has seen constant growth in media rights deals. Each team gets roughly $220 million just for media rights this season, with the value expected to jump to $377 million a decade from now, according to Forbes.
The media income in general is why every NFL team is a lock to be worth well over one billion dollars. So why are the Cowboys so far ahead of everyone else?
According to Forbes (August 2021), the Cowboys generate $800 million in revenue and have an operating income of $280 million. The franchise also has $200 million in sponsorship deals. No one else in the NFL is even touching these marks. Nearly one billion dollars in revenue is crazy to think about, especially coming out of a pandemic-affected season.
As per Forbes, the average NFL team is worth $3.5 billion. The Cowboys take it to a whole new level with revenue and operating income totals that must have other NFL owners trying to figure out how to copy this strategy. Ultimately, that may be impossible to do, given the amount by which Jones has boosted the value of his franchise.
Jones bought the team in 1989 for a measly $140 million. He ended up hyping up his product and a franchise that was already known as America's Team. They are now known as America's most valuable sporting operation.
Marketing the franchise as "America's Team" means the Cowboys have fans all over the country and across the globe. Like the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Lakers, one does not need to live in the region to root for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys also make sure they keep a Thanksgiving slot every season, meaning local sponsors can fight for deals on the holiday every year. The asking price is only going to go up as time passes.
The fascinating part is how the Cowboys are worth over $6 billion even though they haven't even been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season. That speaks to the business aspect of the franchise, which Jones has instilled. The Cowboys could go 14-3 or 3-14 and they would still lead the headlines either way.
Winning a Super Bowl soon will only boost the value of the franchise, and it may make it impossible for anyone to ever reach what Jones has built. That may already be true regardless of the team's success in the near future.