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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Updated: August 15, 3:37 PM ET
Cowboys worth NFL-best $2.3B

By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

The Dallas Cowboys haven't finished any of the past 17 seasons on top, but they will start in first place on Forbes' NFL Team Values list for the seventh straight year.

Jerry Jones' team is worth $2.3 billion, the magazine said in the list it published Wednesday morning. The Cowboys, who last won a Super Bowl in 1996, are the only NFL team worth more than $2 billion.

The New England Patriots ($1.8 billion), the Washington Redskins ($1.7 billion), the New York Giants ($1.55 billion) and the Houston Texans ($1.45 billion) round out the top five. The entire NFC East is ranked among the seven most valuable teams, with the Philadelphia Eagles coming in seventh ($1.31 billion).

Forbes says the average NFL franchise is now worth $1.17 billion, more than the mean valuation of the world's top 20 soccer teams ($968 million). The average NFL franchise also is worth more than the average MLB team ($744 million), NBA team ($509 million) and NHL team ($282 million).

The Cowboys' $500 million lead over the Patriots was widened this offseason thanks to AT&T buying the naming rights to the 4-year-old stadium for more than $400 million. The team is the only team in the league that opted to distribute and control its merchandise supply chain.

Nine teams are worth less than $1 billion: the Arizona Cardinals ($961 million), San Diego Chargers ($949 million), Atlanta Falcons ($933 million), Cincinnati Bengals ($924 million), Detroit Lions ($900 million), St. Louis Rams ($875 million), Buffalo Bills ($870 million), Jacksonville Jaguars ($840 million) and Oakland Raiders ($825 million).

No team declined in value from last year, although the Kansas City Chiefs were unchanged at $1 billion. The team whose value rose the most, on a percentage basis, was the Rams. The main reason the team got a 12 percent boost, Forbes reasoned, is  the team has a chance to move in 2015.

The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens moved up two spots to No. 9 from No. 11 with their value rising from $1.16 billion to $1.22 billion.

Other teams in the top 10 include the New York Jets (No. 6, $1.38 billion), Chicago Bears (No. 8, $1.25 billion), and San Francisco 49ers (No. 10, $1.2 billion).