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Forget the W's and L's, the Dallas Cowboys are making money

Another year starts with the team, atop the league's money pile.

DALLAS — Since this week’s Monday night football game features the Dallas Cowboys, it's time for some stats. But not the wins/losses or passing yards/rushing yards. 

Let's talk about the real goal of pro football: Money. 

Last year, as COVID-19 kept stadiums largely empty, it was harder for NFL teams to get to the goal line of making big bucks. According to Statista, 20 of the 32 pro teams had operating income losses in 2020. 

The Cowboys, though, pulled off an operating income of $280 million in the pandemic season. That was better than any other team, but that was a huge loss of yardage for Jerry Jones and company from the year before, when the team raked in a record $425 million.  

And yet, the team comes out of a hard year worth 14% more than the year before, according to Forbes, which values the Cowboys at $6.5 billion. That is far and away more than any other team. One part of the Forbes report shows how rising TV revenues helped rescue football teams. 

Also, they report all NFL teams have benefitted from a joint investment fund into which each team put millions of dollars. That fund started in 2013, and Forbes reports it has generated more than 30% yearly. Imagine your IRA or 401k going up by one third every year.

Finally, betting on the NFL has flourished. Many millions of dollars were wagered last year. Now, tech company Geo Comply finds that just in the opening week of this season, legal sports betting more than doubled to hit new heights from 25.8 million transactions in week one of the 2020 season to 58.2 million bets in week one of the 2021 season. 

A reminder map from ESPN about the states that have legalized sports betting. It is still out of bounds in Texas.