Cowboys top Forbes' 2018 list of most valuable NFL franchises, Bills ranked dead last

Being the owner of America's team seems to be paying off handsomely for Jerry Jones. 

For the 12th consecutive year, the Cowboys are No. 1 on Forbes' annual list of the NFL's most valuable franchises, and this year, his team has set a record. The Cowboys are worth an estimated $5 billion, which is $1.2 billion more than the next team on the list and marks the first time that any sports team in the world has cracked the $5 billion mark.

Although the Cowboys haven't been to a Super Bowl in more than 20 years, that doesn't seem to be hurting the value of them, which has basically been printing money for Jones since he bought it 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), Manchester United ($4.23 billion, Real Madrid ($4.09 billion), Barcelona ($4.064 billion) and the New England Patriots ($3.8 billion).

The fact that two NFL teams are in the top five 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, 28 of the league's 32 teams are worth over $2 billion, and two of the teams that aren't -- the Browns and Bengals -- will likely hit that number in the near future. The Buccaneers joined the $2 billion club this year after missing out in 2017. 

One notable aspect of this year's valuations is that Los Angeles doesn't seem to be treating its two news teams equally. Although the Rams got a huge boost in value when they moved to L.A. in 2016 -- they jumped from the 28th most valuable team in 2016 to the fourth most valuable this year -- the same can't be said for the Chargers

After playing their first full season in L.A., the Chargers value didn't go up at all. The team was worth $2.275 billion in 2017 and is worth the same number in 2018. However, they did get a slight bump from $2.08 billion to $2.275 billion when they initially announced their move following the 2016 season. 

On the other hand, the Rams have skyrocketed in value since moving to L.A., going from $1.45 billion in 2015 to $2.9 billion in 2016 to $3 billion in 2017 to $3.2 billion in 2018. The team's 6.6 percent increase over last year's was the biggest jump made by any team this year. 

Here's a look at the list of the NFL's most valuable franchises. You'll notice that the Cowboys ($5 billion) are nearly worth more than the Bengals, Lions and Bills combined ($5.1 billion).

NFL's 10 Most Valuable franchises 

1. Dallas Cowboys ($5 billion)
2. New England Patriots ($3.8 billion)
3. New York Giants ($3.3 billion) 
4. Los Angeles Rams (3.2 billion)
5. Washington Redskins ($3.1 billion)
6. San Francisco 49ers ($3.05 billion)
7. Chicago Bears ($2.9 billion)
8. New York Jets ($2.85 billion)
9. Houston Texans ($2.8 billion)
10. Philadelphia Eagles ($2.75 billion)

Bottom Five

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2 billion)
29. Cleveland Browns ($1.95 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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