By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
Forbes last week released its annual list of NFL franchise valuations. No surprise at the top of the list is the Dallas Cowboys at $2.1 billion, the first NFL team to cross the $2 billion-valuation threshold. According to Forbes’ study, the Cowboys are the NFL’s most valuable franchise for the sixth consecutive season. Its value has increased a whopping 1,300% since Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys for $150 million back in 1989. Rounding out the top five most valuable teams this year are the New England Patriots at $1.63 billion, the Washington Redskins at $1.6 billion, the New York Giants at $1.5 billion, and the Houston Texans at $1.3 billion.
So what makes the Cowboys so much more valuable than other NFL teams? It starts with the $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium, which generates an estimated $80 million in sponsorship revenue annually. Additionally, the Cowboys are the only NFL team to distribute their own merchandise, and the team ranked third in the league in sales in 2011. Last year alone, the Cowboys grossed a whopping $500 million in total revenue, a record for an American pro sports team. No wonder they say everything is bigger in Texas.