In the understatement of the year, things have been ... tumultuous for the Houston Texans.
DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the best wide receiver in pro football was traded — much to the shock and chagrin of teammates, media, and fans. Hometown hero and mortal superman J.J. Watt parted ways with the team and took his talents to sunny Arizona. Those paying attention to headlines are aware that quarterback DeShaun Watson's life has been anything but sunny of late.
Now comes some welcome news for the franchise. Forbes reported August 5 that the Houston Texans rank No. 11 among the 32 NFL teams in terms of value. The team is worth $3.7 billion — up 12 percent from 2020.
The Texans posted an operating loss of $20.2 million last year, according to Forbes. Certainly welcome news for quiet and distinguished owner Janice McNair.
Not surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys are worth $6.5 billion, up 14 percent from last year. That $800 million increase came despite the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season.
The Cowboys have appeared atop the Forbes list for 15 years.
According to Forbes, the Cowboys generate the most revenue ($800 million) and operating income ($280.4 million) of any NFL team. This, despite no Super Bowl victories since 1995 and a spotty playoff record since then.
But then, there's Jerry Jones. The charismatic owner derives much of his immense fortune from the Cowboys. Forbes estimates his net worth at $8.8 billion, making him the 291st richest person in the U.S. as of August 9.
And let’s not overlook the Buffalo Bills. The team, said to be weighing (a highly unlikely) move to Austin, ranks last in the NFL in terms of its worth. Forbes pegs the team’s value at $2.27 billion, up from 11 percent last year. The Bills notched an operating loss of $17.6 million in 2020.
The Bills’ owners have threatened to move the franchise to Austin as they pursue nearly $1.5 billion in public funding for a new stadium. Football observers believe the threat is merely a bargaining chip in the stadium negotiations.
A stadium deal is far more realistic than a relocation to Austin. Why? Jones almost certainly would wield his influence in the NFL to block the Bills’ move to Austin — a move that would give Texas a third pro football team and dilute the fan bases of the Cowboys and Texans.