Financial field of dreams
The Philadelphia Eagles lassoed the Dallas Cowboys on December 22, putting a playoff appearance — and a championship title — farther out of reach for the Cowboys and further jeopardizing the job of head coach Jason Garrett.
Of course, owner Jerry Jones expressed disappointment about the 17-9 loss to Philly. But he could hardly be disappointed about a title he did win recently. On December 18, four days before Dallas’ dismal performance in Philadelphia, Forbes magazine crowned Jonesthe head of the world’s second most valuable sports conglomerate.
Forbes pegs the value of Jones’ sports kingdom at $6.9 billion. To put that into context, the size of the economy of the European nation of Monaco is a little over $6 billion. As of December 23, Forbes estimated Jones’ net worth at $8.5 billion.
The Cowboys franchise — the world’s most valuable sports team — accounts for $5.5 billion of Jones’ empire, according to Forbes. When Forbes christened the Cowboys the world’s most valuable sports franchise in July 2019, it estimated the team was worth $5 billion.
“Jones has capitalized on the insatiable appetite for all things Cowboys,” Forbes declared last summer.
Jones bought the ’Boys in 1989 for a paltry $140 million.
“Even though he was wealthy by any measure at the time, Jones put his entire fortune into the Cowboys with little margin for error. … The Cowboys have returned the favor, putting billions into Jones’s pocket,” the Investopedia investment website noted in June 2019. “On a landscape where many sports team owners make their fortunes elsewhere and then treat their team as something of a toy, Jones is the rare owner who generates enormous cash flow from the team itself.”
Elsewhere in the sports arena, Jones owns more than one-third of the Legends hospitality and merchandising company, Forbes points out. In addition, Jones reaps sports-related revenue from The Star in Frisco, a 91-acre, mixed-use development whose occupants include the Cowboys’ headquarters and practice facility, restaurants, stores, and a hotel. Furthermore, Jones is majority owner of Complexity Gaming, an esports organization.
The sports industry isn’t Jones’ only source of wealth. He’s a longtime player in the oil and gas business. In 2018, he acquired a majority stake in Frisco-based oil and gas company Comstock Resources Inc. So far, Jones has invested $1.1 billion in Comstock.
By the way, another Texas billionaire leads what Forbes tags as the world’s most valuable sports enterprise, worth an estimated $8.4 billion. Stan Kroenke, who lives on an expansive ranch in West Texas, owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, NBA’s Colorado Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, Premiere League’s Arsenal soccer club, and other sports holdings.