The New England Patriots were second on the list at $3.7 billion, followed by the the New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Washington ($3.1 billion) and the San Francisco 49ers ($3.05 billion).
As Badenhausen noted, the Cowboys brought in profits of "$350 million thanks to a booming merchandise business and the revenue opportunities at their new practice facility, The Star." Sponsorships alone earn them $150 million a year in profits, with Dallas' AT&T Stadium aligned with Nike, Pepsi and American Express.
Owner Jerry Jones has used the Cowboys to launch new business ventures as well:
"The Cowboys are the only NFL team to distribute their own merchandise. Silver Star has merchandise agreements with other entities like USC and generated more than $200 million in wholesale revenue last year. Jones owns one-third of Legends Hospitality, which manages ticket sales, concessions and sponsorships for clients like the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Dallas Mavericks and Notre Dame. A minority stake was sold in the spring, valuing Legends at $700 million.
"One of Jones' latest ventures is Blue Star Sports. Jones and his partners launched the company last year to roll up a number of youth sports apps and sports tech businesses. The NFL's private equity arm, 32 Equity, invested in Blue Star this year. It is understood to be the first time the NFL invested directly in a company owned by one of its owners (our valuation for the Cowboys does not include Legends or Blue Star)."
The Cowboys are also the most valuable franchise in all of sports, as Badenhausen reported in July. At $4.2 billion, they were followed by the New York Yankees ($3.7 billion), Manchester United ($3.69 billion), FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.58 billion).
The values of the NFL's other organizations have continued to grow steadily as well, with 27 teams worth $2 billion or more, per Badenhausen. The average value for a franchise was $2.5 billion.