Don't cry for Jerry Jones

July, 13, 2011
7/13/11
10:07
AM ET
Forbes offers the kind of information that will make the players who've been sitting across the negotiating table from Jerry Jones and his pals even more strongly convinced that the owners are full of it. On the magazine's list of The 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises in the world, the Dallas Cowboys rank No. 2, behind only Manchester United, and are worth $1.81 billion. Jones has some stadium debt, I have no doubt, but I have even less doubt that the Cowboys will generate enough revenue over the next decade that he'll be able to pay it all off without having to give up the little things in life, like the monograms on his shirt cuffs or that new private jet he's got his eye on:
The Cowboys are the sports world’s second most valuable team with a worth of $1.81 billion. Jerry Jones‘ $1.25 billion stadium, which opened in 2010, features more than just a 152-foot-wide HD TV screen. Cowboys Stadium has 320 luxury suites and 15,000 club seats that generate more than $100 million annually in premium seat revenue for Jones. America’s Team has also signed a host of lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of AT&T, Bank of America, Ford Motor and PepsiCo.

Forbes also says that all 32 NFL teams are in the top 50, and all four NFC East teams are in the top 11. The Redskins rank fourth at $1.55 billion and, according to the magazine, "have been the NFL's most profitable team over the past decade with an average operating income of $76 million." The Giants rank eighth at $1.18 billion. And the Eagles came in 11th (this is among all sports teams in the world, mind you, not just NFL teams) at $1.12 billion.

The numbers are stunning, and they kind of make you think that maybe this whole lockout didn't happen because the "system is broken" or the "owners were hurting" or the "players were getting too big a share of the revenue." Makes you think it was all just a money grab the owners undertook at a time of year when it wasn't going to cost them anything and for no other reason than because they could. Oh wait. Did I just say that out loud?

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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