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NFL's Best And Worst Road Draws: Cowboys Remain A Top Road Draw in 2016

The Cowboys remain one of the most popular teams in the league and impact opponents' ticket prices by a staggering +57% when they come to town.

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The Dallas Cowboys are not media darlings, they're not particularly en vogue with the smoothie-slurping hipster crowd, they've won just two playoff games in the last 19 years, and they probably have more NFL fans rooting against them than any other NFL team.

But when the Cowboys come to town, people can’t resist putting their money down to see them. Regardless of whether they are putting up 12-4 or 4-12 seasons, the Cowboys are one of the top road draws in the league.

Vivid Seats, a secondary-ticket marketplace, compiled data on which NFL teams are the best and worst road draws of the 2015 season, and their data shows that the Cowboys are one of the biggest road draws in the NFL. When the Cowboys come to town, the median ticket price for a game is +57% higher than the host team's usual median price. That ranks the Cowboys third overall, behind only the Patriots (+66%) and Packers (+62%), and ahead of the Broncos (+56%), Steelers (+48%), and Bears (+38%).

Meanwhile, the Browns are the worst road draw in the league, decreasing ticket prices by -17% as the visiting team. The Jaguars (-13%) and Buccaneers (-11%) follow as the least sought after road opponents. Here's the full list:

2016 NFL Road Draws
Rank Team Change Rank Team Change Rank Team Change
1 Patriots 66% T-11 49ers 11% 23 Cardinals 1%
2 Packers 62% 13 Giants
9% 24 Vikings -1%
3 Cowboys 57% T-14 Redskins 8% 25 Texans -2%
4 Broncos 56% T-14 Bills 8% 26 Dolphins -4%
5 Steelers 48% 16 Jets 6% 27 Rams -5%
6 Bears 38% T-17 Falcons 5% 28 Chargers -6%
7 Seahawks 32% T-17 Colts 5% 29 Titans -8%
8 Raiders 23% 19 Bengals 3% 30 Buccaneers -11%
9 Panthers 22% T-20 Chiefs 2% 31 Jaguars -13%
10 Saints 17% T-20 Ravens 2% 32 Browns -17%
T-11 Eagles 11% T-20 Lions 2%

One interesting aspect about this data is that the Cowboys' performance in 2015 doesn't seem to have impacted their attractiveness as a road draw, and have been consistently ranked in the top five. In 2013, they were ranked second overall by VividSeats, in 2014 they were ranked fifth overall, and last year they were ranked fourth overall.

In terms of the away games the Cowboys play this year. The game in Pittsburgh the most expensive with a median price of $467 on the secondary ticket market, closely followed by the the game in Green Bay, which is going for $427. Here's an overview of all eight away games:

Cowboys Away Games Median Price, 2016
Week Opponent Median Ticket Price Median Cowboys Price Increase
2 Washington Redskins* $196 $252 29%
4 San Francisco 49ers* $175 $364 108%
6 Green Bay Packers* $294 $427 45%
9 Cleveland Browns* $110 $175 59%
10 Pittsburgh Steelers* $264 $467 77%
13 Minnesota Vikings $233 $260 12%
14 New York Giants* $208 $275 32%
17 Philadelphia Eagles $195 $212 9%

Note that for all teams marked with an '*' the Cowboys are the most expensive home game. In Minnesota, the Cowboys are second to the Packers, and in Philly, the Cowboys are second to the Steelers.

Obviously, we need to keep in mind that the data here is from the secondary ticket market, and many games are sold out weeks or even months in advance. As such, the secondary ticket prices necessarily reflect the supply and demand on the market, but do not reflect the pricing policy of NFL teams. Also, fees for parking, suites, and luxury boxes have been excluded from the data.

At the end of the day, what we're left with is the certainty that much to the chagrin of many talking heads, the Cowboys remain one of the most popular teams in the league. And that's confirmed week after week by fans who fork over their hard-earned cash to see the Dallas Cowboys, perhaps because they like them, perhaps because they hate them, but never because they're indifferent to them.