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Dallas Cowboys become the first NFL franchise worth $8 billion, tops Forbes valuation list for 16th straight year

Jalyn Smoot

Yesterday's price is not today's price for the now $8 billion Dallas CowboysAP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The Cowboys became the first NFL franchise to receive a valuation of $8 billion, according to Forbes, topping the publication’s annual rankings for the 16th consecutive year.

Worth exactly $8 billion, the Cowboys rank well ahead of the Patriots ($6.4 billion value), Rams ($6.3 billion value), Giants ($6 billion value), and Bears ($5.8 billion value), which fill out the top five franchises in terms of worth.

Despite a 24-year championship drought, the Cowboys boasted the highest operating income in the NFL at $466 million in 2022. The Cowboys' total greatly exceeds the next team on the list, the New England Patriots, with an operating income of $235 million last season.

They are still ‘America’s Team,’” Kurt Badenhausen, a reporter at the sports business website Sportico, told the Guardian earlier this year. “They’re still the most watched team. Every network wants as many Cowboys games as they can get. They have the largest fanbase in the country.”

Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys for $150 million (worth roughly $330 million in 2022) in 1989. At the time, many thought this was an exorbitant price to pay fIn an or a sports franchise.

Among the critics was former POTUS Donald Trump, who was outbid by Jones for the acquisition of the Cowboys.

Trump flirted with the idea of purchasing the Buffalo Bills in 2017, but also made an offer to acquire the Cowboys in 1983. Ultimately, the cost grew beyond his comfort level and Trump instead chose to buy a team in the USFL, a league that went bankrupt just a few years later.

After his purchase of the USFL team, though, Trump had an interesting take on the future owner of the Cowboys.

I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Cowboys … he’ll be known to the world as a loser.”

Well, so much for that right?

Five championships and an $8 billion valuation later, I'm willing to bet Jerry Jones is thrilled by his investment.

In an interview with longtime journalist Peter King a few years ago, Jones speculated that the Cowboys would be "worth more than $10 billion" if he sold them.

Jones did circle back to that statement to ensure that he has no plans of putting the team on the market soon.

"Let me make this very clear," he told Peter King. "I'll say it definitively. I will never do it. I will never sell the Cowboys. Ever."

On the field, Dallas fans are still waiting to see the team play up to their $8 billion price tag. The team has only been to the playoffs four times in the last twelve years and has not made a Super Bowl appearance since the turn of the century.

They begin the 2022 season on September 11 against the NFL's highest-paid player Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

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