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The Dallas Cowboys topped a new Forbes study of the world's most profitable sports teams over the past three years, pocketing a total of nearly $1.2 billion over that timespan. The Cowboys' operating income -- defined by Forbes as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- was substantially greater than any other professional sports team, and far more than the New England Patriots in second at $623 million.

Forbes' list was compiled from data for NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL teams as well as professional soccer teams from around the globe. Forbes' data ends with the 2021 season for football, while all other leagues' data is through 2022.

The top 10 in Forbes' most profitable sports teams are as follows:

  1. Dallas Cowboys - $1.171B
  2. New England Patriots - $623M
  3. Tottenham Hotspur - $414M
  4. New York Knicks - $404M
  5. Manchester United - $403M
  6. Houston Texans - $356M
  7. Golden State Warriors - $348M
  8. New York Giants - $333M
  9. Los Angeles Lakers - $333M
  10. Manchester City - $329M
  11. Los Angeles Rams - $318M

The top 25 in Forbes' study was comprised of 13 total teams from the NFL, followed by seven NBA teams, four English Premier League teams and one team (Bayern Munich) from Bundesliga. No MLB or NHL teams made the cut due to the way the COVID-19 pandemic devastated their live gate profits and the fact that those leagues' broadcasting deals are not as lucrative.

The Cowboys continue to be the NFL's richest team, a trend which began in 1989 when Jerry Jones purchased the team for a then-record $140 million. Although the Cowboys have not won a Super Bowl nor advanced to a conference championship since their win in Super Bowl XXX, they have remained extremely relevant thanks to a strong fanbase, media, and marketing presence as well as the fact that they have been a consistent playoff contender under Jones' ownership.