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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo flashes a thumbs-up as he walks off the field (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo flashes a thumbs-up as he walks off the field (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

Forbes: Dallas Cowboys the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3-billion in value Add to ...

The Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3-billion in value.

For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, according to Forbes. They’re valued at $3.2-billion; only Real Madrid at $3.4-billion is worth more among global franchises.

Dallas posted the NFL’s highest revenue, $560-million, and operating income, $246-million. That was far ahead of second-place New England, worth $2.6-billion and with $428-million in revenues, $147-million in operating income.

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But the Patriots had the biggest increase since last year, up 44 per cent in value. Dallas was up 39 per cent.

The average NFL franchise value for 2014 is $1.43-billion, the highest in the 17 years the business magazine has tracked professional football. That shows a 23 per cent increase, the largest in one year since 1999.

Forbes determines team values using equity plus net debt figures, and accounts for each team’s current stadium situation, with adjustments for pending new stadiums and renovations to existing ones.

Washington ($2.4-billion) is third in value, increasing 41 per cent since the last rankings, and the New York Giants ($2.1-billion) are fourth.

For the 2013 season, the average NFL team generated record revenue of $299-million and operating income of $53-million. Each franchise received a record $170-million of national revenue, mainly from league broadcasting and licensing fees.

At the bottom are Buffalo, worth $935-million and currently for sale after owner Ralph Wilson’s death, and St. Louis at $930-million. But every team increased in worth, the lowest rise being Arizona at 4 per cent.

The 10 most valuable NFL teams for 2014:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $3.2-billion

2. New England Patriots, $2.6-billion

3. Washington Redskins, $2.4-billion

4. New York Giants, $2.1-billion

5. Houston Texans, $1.85-billion

6. New York Jets, $1.8-billion

7. Philadelphia Eagles, $1.75-billion

8. Chicago Bears, $1.7-billion

9. San Francisco 49ers, $1.6-billion

10. Baltimore Ravens, $1.5-billion

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