The Dallas Cowboys Are a Super Bowl No-Show But Still America’s Most Valuable NFL Franchise

The Dallas Cowboys will be back next season with a new head coach in Mike McCarthy after a disappointing 2019-20 season. It’s been a long time since Dallas showed up in the Super Bowl. While the team has had plenty of postseason futility, it’s done little to affect their bottom line.

The Cowboys are still valuable — more valuable, in fact, than any other NFL team. How did this come to be? How can a team with so little success remain so highly valued? 

The Dallas Cowboys were ‘America’s ‘Team

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According to Bleacher Report, the Cowboys won more games between 1963 and 1983 than any other team. Early in their tenure, they were forced to compete with the AFL’s Dallas Texans. While that team was more successful in the early going, the Cowboys outdid them in attendance numbers. They eventually moved and became the Kansas City Chiefs. 

This is the era in which the Cowboys became America’s Team — the preeminent football franchise in the country. They had a winning quarterback in Roger Staubach, a legendary coach in Tom Landry, and a roster perennially stocked with talent. It paved the way for the Cowboys to later have their most successful era. 

The Cowboys were the team of the ’90s, becoming the first NFL team to win three out of four Super Bowls. In the early ’90s, they had two consecutive Super Bowl victories over the Buffalo Bills. Their last Super Bowl victory (and appearance) came in Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 27-17 victory. It seemed like the Cowboys had a dynasty that would go on for years. But the team soon found out that nothing lasts forever. 

How have the Cowboys fared since their last Super Bowl win? 

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The Cowboys haven’t been an awful team since their last Super Bowl appearance. Quite the contrary: they’ve managed to win several division titles with multiple playoff appearances. The problem is that once they get to the playoffs, they sputter. Over the last decade, the team had been ineffective under former head coach Jason Garrett.

It’s not just that they haven’t won Super Bowl in the last 20 years — plenty of teams can make that claim. It’s that they have yet to get back to an NFC championship game, much less a Super Bowl. It’s hard to pinpoint one reason why the team hasn’t been better. A lot of it is due to a few bad breaks. But with most organizations, the blame typically falls with the person making the decisions about personnel.

Team owner Jerry Jones has been the team’s general manager since he bought them in 1989. He’s had complete control over all decisions save for the Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells’ eras. If any other GM had the same record as Jones, they would have been let go long ago. No matter what way you look at it, he’s the common denominator. 

How are the Cowboys still the most valuable NFL franchise? 

Team owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys
Team owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Forbes reports that as of 2019, the Cowboys are the most valuable NFL franchise at $5.5 billion. For 13 straight years, they’ve topped the NFL in value. So how does a team with no playoff victories or championships in the last 20 years remain atop the league’s most valuable teams? There are a few reasons why: 

  • Superior branding: The Cowboys are obviously popular in Texas, but they’re a nationally popular team. Their fan base extends all across the country. 
  • National exposure: The team is often featured on national broadcasts as opposed to just regional ones, continually exposing them to more and more fans. 
  • Past excellence: When it comes to Super Bowls, their still one of the most winningest franchises of all time. Few teams have as many Super Bowl championships as them (five). 

The Cowboys may not win a Super Bowl soon, but they will likely continue to grow in value.