If you follow the NFL, then you know a lot about the team that takes the top spot as the most valuable franchise in the league. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in the NFL as of 2019, based on Forbes valuations. The Cowboys have had the most valuable franchise for 13 straight years, with a value of $5.5 billion, up 10% from 2018.
The NFL remains the most valuable sports league in the world. The average NFL team makes more than any other sports team, coming in at $452 million, while they also prove to be the most profitable—generating $102 million per team in operating income on average. The NFL keeps a tight rein on who can and can’t own a team, with strict guidelines and vetting process. As well, the rules for using debt when purchasing a franchise are stringent and no corporate ownership is allowed in the NFL.
Overall, the average value of NFL teams—$2.86 billion—increased 11% year-over-year for 2019. This mean value has increased every year since 2011. The Carolina Panthers franchise was purchased by billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper in 2018 for a record $2.3 billion. This handily beat what Terry and Kim Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills—$1.5 billion—in 2014.
Below are the top 10 most valuable teams as of 2019. The franchise value takes into account the team’s revenues, stadium value (ex-real estate and only including income from concerts and such if it benefits the owner), and offers to buy or invest in the team. Part of the valuation uses historical transactions to calculate an appropriate multiple that is then placed on revenues.
|10 Most Valuable NFL Teams 2019|
|Rank||Team||Owner||2019 Value ($ in billions)||2018 Value ($ in billions)||Change in Value|
|1||Dallas Cowboys||Jerry Jones||$5.5||$5.0||10%|
|2||New England Patriots||Robert Kraft||$4.1||$3.8||8%|
|3||New York Giants||John Mara, Steven Tisch||$3.9||$3.3||18%|
|4||Los Angeles Rams||Stanley Kroenke||$3.8||$3.2||19%|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||Denise DeBartolo York, John York||$3.5||$3.05||15%|
|6||Chicago Bears||McCaskey Family||$3.45||$2.9||19%|
|7||Washington Redskins||Daniel Snyder||$3.4||$3.1||10%|
|8||New York Jets||Johnson Family||$3.2||$2.85||12%|
|9||Houston Texans||Janice McNair||$3.1||$2.8||11%|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles||Jeffrey Lurie||$3.05||$2.75||11%|
No. 1 Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys franchise is valued at $5.5 billion. The team, owned by Jerry Jones—which he purchased for $140 million in 1989—is valued at more than 34% higher than the number two team. The team’s 2019 revenue was $950 million, a 10% increase from 2018 while operating income rose 15%.
The team has won five super bowls, with the latest coming in 1996—Super Bowl XXX. Established in 1960, the team has been to eight super bowls and appeared in the playoffs 33 times.
No. 2 New England Patriots
The New England Patriots, Super Bowl LIII (2019) champions, saw their 2019 value increase by 8% to $4.1 billion. The Patriots have appeared in 11 Super Bowls and won six of them. The team was established in 1959 and current owner Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 for $172 million, which was the highest ever paid for an NFL team at the time.
No. 3 New York Giants
The New York Football Giants, as they’re known, also going by the nicknames “Big Blue” and “G-Men,” are worth $3.9 billion—an increase of 18% from last year. The team was established in 1925 by Tim Mara with $500. Today, the team is half-owned by Tim’s grandson, John Mara. The team has won four Super Bowls, the last one being XLVI in 2011.
No. 4 Los Angeles Rams
The valuation for the Los Angeles Rams rose 19% to $3.8 billion. Owned by Stanley Kroenke, he purchased 30% of the team in 1995 and then the remaining 70% in 2010.
The Rams started out in Cleveland in 1936, moving to L.A. after a few years, then moving to St. Louis in 1995, where they stayed for 20 years. The Rams returned to L.A. for the 2016 season. The last Super Bowl won by the team was XXXIV in 1999.
No. 5 San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers moved up one spot to fifth in the rankings with a 15% increase in their team value, which stands at $3.5 billion. The team has won five Super Bowls, the latest being XXIX in 1995. The team is owned by members of the York family, who gained control of the team from Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. The father of Denise DeBartolo York and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., purchased the team in 1977.
No. 6 Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears saw a 19% increase in its value to $3.45 billion from 2018. Virginia Halas McCaskey is the owner of the Bears and the oldest owner in the NFL at 96 years old. She inherited the team from her father who founded the Bears in 1920. The team has won only one Super Bowl, XX in 1986, but has the most wins of any NFL franchise.
No. 7 Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins fell from fifth to seventh in the rankings. The team's value, however, increased by 10% from last year at $3.4 billion. Established in 1932, the team started out in Boston and has won three Super Bowls, the last one coming with XXVI in 1991.
Daniel Snyder is the majority owner of the Redskins, owning 65%. In 1999, he paid $800 million for the team and its stadium, marking it the most expensive sporting team transaction in history at the time.
No. 8 New York Jets
After a 12% increase for 2019, the New York Jets have a team value of $3.2 billion. The team shares its stadium with the New York Giants—MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Woody Johnson bought the team in 2000 for $635 million and co-owns the team with his brother Christopher Johnson. The team, established in 1959, has won its only Super Bowl appearance—III in 1969.
No. 9 Houston Texans
The team value of the Houston Texans increased 11% year-over-year to $3.1 billion. The team, established in 1999, played its first season in 2002. It’s the only team to never appear in a conference championship but has had five playoff appearances. Janice McNair inherited 80% ownership of the Houston Texans after her husband and team founder, Bob McNair, died in 2018.
No. 10 Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagle’s $3.05 billion value was an 11% increase from 2018. Jeffrey Lurie bought the team for $185 million in 1994. The team, established in 1933, replaced the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets. The Eagles won Super Bowl LII in 2018. The team is known to have some of the most intimidating fans in the league.