dallas cowboys franchise value
| | | |

Dallas Cowboys Franchise Value

The Dallas Cowboys, often referred to as “America’s Team,” have history dating back to their formation as the NFL’s first modern-era expansion team in 1960. The circumstances leading to the Cowboys’ creation were complex and intertwined with the broader landscape of professional football at the time.

This article covers the Dallas Cowboys franchise value, ownership history, financials, and a bit more on AT&T stadium.

Dallas Cowboys Team Value : $9 Billion 

  • Owners: Jerry Jones
  • Championships: 5
  • Year Purchased: 1989
  • Price Paid: $150 Million
  • Revenue: $1.1 Billion
  • Operating Income: $504 Million
  • Player Expenses: $261 Million
  • Gate Receipts: $109 Million
  • Revenue Per Fan: $86


Dallas Cowboys Formation and Ownership

In the late 1950s, Lamar Hunt, a Dallas businessman, attempted to acquire an NFL franchise for the city. When rebuffed by the league, Hunt became part of a group that formed the rival American Football League (AFL), establishing the Dallas Texans (which later became the Kansas City Chiefs). This move prompted the NFL to reconsider its stance on expansion, not wanting to cede the Southern market to the upstart league.

On January 28, 1960, Dallas was officially granted an NFL franchise. The team was initially known as the Dallas Steers, then briefly as the Rangers, before settling on the Cowboys name to avoid confusion with the local baseball team.

Clint Murchinson Jr. (1960-1984)

Murchison, along with Bedford Wynne, was the founding owner of the Cowboys. He adopted a hands-off approach to ownership, delegating operational control to a trio of experts: general manager Tex Schramm, head coach Tom Landry, and scouting director Gil Brandt. This management style is often credited for the team’s sustained success, including 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1966 to 1985, five Super Bowl appearances, and two championships.

Public sentiment toward Murchison was generally positive, as fans appreciated his willingness to let football professionals run the team without interference. His approach allowed for stability and long-term planning, which many saw as key to the Cowboys’ success.

Harvey Bright (1984-1988)

Bright, along with 11 limited partners, purchased the Cowboys from Murchison for $85 million in 1984. His tenure saw a decline in the team’s performance, with their record deteriorating over the years. Bright’s ownership was marked by financial difficulties, particularly following the collapse of First Republic Bank Corporation in 1988, which led to significant losses for him personally.

Public opinion of Bright was mixed. While he maintained the management structure established by Murchison, the team’s declining performance and his eventual decision to sell the franchise left some fans disappointed.

Jerry Jones (1989-Present)

Jones purchased the Cowboys from Bright for $140 million in 1989. His tenure has been marked by both success and controversy. Jones quickly made significant changes, including firing the longtime head coach Tom Landry, a move that initially drew criticism from many fans.

Under Jones’ ownership, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s. He has been credited with significantly increasing the franchise’s value, which is now estimated at $5.5 billion. Jones has also played a crucial role in the NFL’s overall financial success, particularly in securing lucrative television deals.

Public sentiment toward Jones has been polarizing. While many fans appreciate his passion for the team and his business acumen, others criticize his high-profile approach and his dual role as owner and general manager. His management style, which involves more direct control over football operations, contrasts sharply with that of Murchison.


How Much are the Dallas Cowboys Worth?

The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise in the world. Their value has skyrocketed since Jerry Jones purchased the team in 1989, making them a true NFL powerhouse both on and off the field.

Key facts about the Cowboys’ value:

The Cowboys’ financial success is unparalleled in the NFL. They were the first NFL team to break $1 billion in annual revenue, outpacing their closest competitor by $272 million. Their strong market presence in the Dallas metro area, with a population of 7.8 million, contributes to their high value.

Other notable financial points:

  • Debt-to-value ratio: 3%
  • Gate receipts: $109 million
  • Player expenses: $261 million

Whether using Forbes or Sportico figures, the Cowboys clearly lead the pack in sports franchise valuations. Their continued financial growth under Jerry Jones’ ownership has solidified their position as the NFL’s most valuable team and a global sports business icon.

AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium, often referred to as “Jerry World” or “The Death Star,” is the state-of-the-art home of the Dallas Cowboys. Some key facts about this impressive venue:

  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • Opened: May 27, 2009
  • Construction cost: $1.15 billion
  • Capacity: 80,000 (expandable to over 100,000)
  • Record attendance: 105,121 (NFL regular season game, 2009)

Notable features:

  • Retractable roof
  • Massive high-definition video screens
  • East-west field orientation (unusual for NFL stadiums)
  • Versatile design allowing for various events beyond football

The stadium’s construction was partially funded by increased local taxes, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones covering cost overruns. Its innovative design, led by architect Bryan Trubey, includes distinctive 300-foot tall arches spanning the dome.

AT&T Stadium hosts not only Cowboys games but also major events like the Cotton Bowl Classic, Big 12 Championship, concerts, and other sports. It’s set to be one of the U.S. venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, further cementing its status as a world-class facility.

This cutting-edge stadium significantly contributes to the Cowboys’ league-leading franchise value, serving as both a sports venue and a major entertainment destination in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.