Dallas Cowboys fans have been hit with bad news over the past few weeks, dampening what was mostly an optimistic view on the offseason. But one thing remains the same, and that is the Cowboys are the most popular NFL franchise around. The loyalty and size of the fanbase has been shown over and over. One measure was Forbe's recent ranking of the Cowboys as the most valuable sports franchise in the world.
NFL franchises make up 27 of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world, including the Dallas Cowboys, who rank first with a value of $4 billion, up 25%. It is the first time a non-soccer club has reigned as the most valuable team since 2010 (the first year Forbes compiled a top 50 list). Manchester United held the crown from 2010 to 2012 and Real Madrid the last three years.
Another measure of the fans appetite for all things Cowboys shows up in merchandise sales. For the first time since the NFLPA has been compiling the list, a non-quarterback leads in merchandise sales.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is the new king of pro football retail, claiming the No. 1 spot on the NFLPA's Top 50 Player Sales List for the NFLPA's first quarter. It is the first time since the NFLPA began compiling its Top 50 Player list in 2013 that a non-quarterback has topped the quarterly player sales rankings. The list is based on total sales of all officially-licensed NFL player merchandise, tracking year-to-date results from March 1 through May 31, 2016.
Not only does Bryant lead for the past quarter, but four of the top five positions are held by Cowboys players. Following Bryant are Tony Romo, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Rodgers and Jason Witten.
There are a couple of amazing things here besides Bryant being the first non-QB to top the list. Elliott is a rookie, hasn't played a snap in the league yet and is already third on the list. Again, this shows the enormous size of the Cowboys fanbase, but also shows just how much faith Cowboys fans have put in the young man's abilities on the football field.
Also amazing, maybe even more amazing, is Jason Witten's ability to move merchandise, even though he is in his twilight years and his stats are no longer at the top of the tight end ladder. Witten is still a very good football player, but isn't the dominant figure he once was, but he still commands so much respect for his play on the field, and his unquestioned character off of it. The Senator is indeed worthy of our adulation.
One other Cowboy made the list, Sean Lee shows up at #38. Dallas tied with Seattle for most players on the Top 50 list, both at five.
So, have you bought any Cowboys merchandise lately? If so, what was it and was any player represented on your purchase?