Cowboys dominate Forbes' 2017 list of most valuable NFL franchises, Bills rank last

If Jerry Jones ever decides to sell the Dallas Cowboys, someone is going to have to write him a monstrous check because the team is now worth nearly $5 billion. For the 11th consecutive year, the Cowboys are No. 1 on Forbes' annual list of the NFL's most valuable franchises with an estimated value of $4.8 billion. Although the Cowboys haven't been to a Super Bowl in more than 20 years, that hasn't stopped Jones from basically printing money in Dallas. 

The Cowboys' total value jumped up from $4.2 billion in 2016 to $4.8 billion this year, which is a nice return on investment for Jones, who bought the team for $140 million in 1989.

The Cowboys' new valuation means that they are now the world's most valuable franchise for the third straight year.

According to Forbes, the five most valuable franchises in the world are the Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the Patriots ($3.7 billion), the New York Yankees ($3.7 billion) along with soccer clubs Manchester United ($3.69 billion) and FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion).

The fact that two NFL teams are at the top of the worldwide list shouldn't come as much of a shock because the value of an NFL franchise has basically been skyrocketing since 2013. Four years ago, there was only one team worth over $2 billion -- the Cowboys. 

This year, 27 of the league's 32 teams are worth over $2 billion, and three of the teams that aren't -- the Browns, Bengals and Buccaneers -- will likely hit that number in the near future.

It seems that the trick to increasing your team's value is to open a new stadium. With Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening this season, the Falcons had the biggest year-to-year jump from 2016 to 2017. Over the past year, the team's value has gone from $2.13 billion to $2.475 billion, which is a 16.2 percent increase. The Cowboys, who saw their value increase by $600 million, had the biggest jump in total value. 

One team that didn't see a huge jump was the Chargers. Although the Rams got a huge boost when they moved to L.A. in 2016 -- they jumped from the 28th most valuable team to the sixth most valuable -- the Chargers only saw a slight increase. Since moving from San Diego, the team's value has gone from $2.08 billion to $2.275 billion. 

Here's a look at the list of the NFL's most valuable franchises. You'll notice that the Cowboys ($4.8 billion) are nearly worth more than the Bengals, Lions and Bills combined ($5.1 billion).

NFL's 10 Most Valuable franchises 

1. Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion)

2. New England Patriots ($3.7 billion)

3. New York Giants ($3.3 billion) 

4. Washington Redskins ($3.1 billion)

5. San Francisco 49ers ($3.05 billion)

6. Los Angeles Rams (3 billion)

7. Chicago Bears ($2.85 billion)

8. Houston Texans ($2.8 billion)

9. New York Jets ($2.75 billion)

10. Philadelphia Eagles ($2.65 billion)

Bottom Five (Not worth $2 billion)

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($1.975 billion)

29. Cleveland Browns ($1.9 billion)

30. Cincinnati Bengals ($1.8 billion)

31. Detroit Lions ($1.7 billion)

32. Buffalo Bills ($1.6 billion)

To see the entire list from Forbes, be sure to click here

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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