5 Houston Texans
If the troika of NFC East teams represent NFL royalty, sometimes it pays to be the new kid on the block, too. The Houston Texans, the NFL’s youngest team, rank fifth on the Forbes list at $1.31 billion in value. Don’t mess with Texas, indeed. And for a squad that’s only been around since 2003, Houston is in pretty heady company, evidence that like his cross-state rival Jerry Jones, owner Bob McNair is doing something very right. By the way, the Tennessee Titans, the team that left Houston for “greener pastures”? They rank 19th on the Forbes list.
4 New York Giants
It wouldn’t be a “richest teams” list without at least one squad from New York, and in this case, the Giants get the edge over their rival Jets. With a value of $1.47 billion, “Big Blue” has an apt nickname, as it’s one of the NFL’s blue chip teams. And if the Giants trail the Patriots in value, owners Steve Tisch and John Mara can take comfort in the fact that they’ve beaten New England twice in the Super Bowl in recent years. Meanwhile, the Jets, who share MetLife Stadium—which, by the way, is in New Jersey—aren’t exactly hurting for cash, ranking sixth on the Forbes list and giving “New York” a nice one-two punch.
3 Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has a reputation as a boy genius in the business world that hasn’t always been borne out on the field. But if his “fantasy football” style of management hasn’t brought home Redskin wins, he certainly hasn’t lost his greenback touch. Forbes values the team at $1.6 billion, which may be pocket change to the billionaire owner, but ranks Washington third in the NFL. Now, if only head coach Mike Shanahan could get the on-field results to match.
2 New England Patriots
That second-richest team, the New England Patriots, is worth $1.64 billion, according to Forbes. And the team has invested that value in building a dynasty, winning Super Bowls and becoming a perpetual AFC contender. The combination of head coach Bill Belichick’s football genius and Tom Brady’s pinpoint passing has ensured that the road to the Super Bowl usually goes through New England, and owner Robert Kraft is celebrating their success all the way to the bank.
1 Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are known as America’s Team, and their popularity has certainly influenced their value. Say what you want about Jerry Jones’ football acumen, but the owner/general manager is an unquestioned success off the field. His team is valued at a whopping $2.1 billion, according to Forbes, nearly half a billion dollars more than the nearest rival. Put another way, for the price of the Cowboys, you could buy the 32nd-ranked Jacksonville Jaguars and the 31st-ranked St. Louis Rams. And have enough money left to become the majority owner of the 30th-ranked Oakland Raiders.