The value of the National Football League is still rising amid issues over National Anthem protests led by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, player safety concerns such as concussion and declining television ratings caused by presidential elections and long commercials on TV programming.

Forbes' latest calculations indicated Monday that the value of the NFL's franchise rises by an average of 8 percent to $2.5 billion this year. The league generated an average of approximately $101 million in operating profit last year, with each team making $40 million.

The financial publication reported that the NFL produces $3.2 billion in total income, which has more earnings than combined earnings of each team in the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball.

Cowboys top list of most valuable teams

The Dallas Cowboys have been rewarded as the world's most dominate sports franchise for 11th straight years. The Cowboys, known as the America's team, is valued at $4.8 billion, which represents a 14 percent increase with $350 million profits.

The franchise generated these profits through the merchandise operation and revenue opportunities at their practice facility, The Star.

The New England Patriots are valued at $3.7 billion, ranking the team at second most valuable franchise in the NFL. The value of this franchise has increased by 9 percent following their incredible 34-28 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. The Patriots, a five-time Super Bowl champion, reported a 50 percent increase in merchandise revenue.

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Three of top five most valuable teams in the league include the New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Washington Redskins ($3.1 billion) and San Francisco ($3.05 billion).

Teams' value rise

The value and revenue of the renovated and state-of-the-art stadium completed franchises have risen. The Minnesota Vikings value has increased by 9 percent to $2.4 billion after the team established the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium last year, and this franchise has produced $60 million in venue revenue.

In August, when the Falcons was set to open a new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which took place of the 25-year-old Georgia Dome, the franchise occupied 19 percent in value.

Last year, the franchise, which is spotted at No. 15 most valuable team in the NFL, sold corporate sponsorships at its stadium, including naming rights, totaling $900 million.

Last year, after the $500 million stadium was completed, the Miami Dolphins inked Orlando-based Hard Rock International to an 18-year naming-rights deal worth nearly $250 million, landing the team the third richest stadium contract in the sport. The Dolphins, owned by Stephen Ross, is valued at $2.58 billion. The NFL officially presented the Super Bowl 54 to Dolphins beginning in 2020.

Jerry Jones: The best sports owner in the world

In 1989, Jerry Jones, the team owner and general manager, purchased Cowboys for $140 million. Following the purchase, the sponsorship model had been reorganized in 1993, and eventually Jones reached multi-million dollar sponsorship pacts with well-known brands such as Nike, Pepsi and American Express tied to Cowboys' former stadium, Texas Stadium Corporation.

Jones saw venture possibilities to launch the new business for the Cowboys. In 2010, the Jones family launched a new company called Silver Star Merchandising, an apparel manufacturer and distributor.

In 2011, the company inked the University of Southern California athletic department to a 10-year license contract. The 2016 wholesale revenue of the firm reported $200 million.

Additionally, Jones and the New York Yankees acquired a controlling stake in Legends Hospitality specializing in ticket sales, concessions and sponsorships for clients of sports teams such as the 49ers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Dallas Mavericks and Notre Dame. In spring, the Legends sold a minority stake to private equity firm New Mountain Capital, based in New York City, valued at $700 million.

Jones, widely considered one of the most powerful owners in sports, continually managed the Cowboys to be ranked the No. 1 most valuable sports team for nearly three decade. He entered the 2017 Hall of Fame for his role in evolving the way NFL teams (or perhaps other sports teams outside the NFL) manage its business.

NFL's growth value

Despite the sink in NFL ratings, the league is still capable of reaching a massive audience through advertising. During the 2016 season, TV ad revenue reached a record $$3.5 billion.

Last year, the Sunday Night Football on NBC reported the highest-rated as well as the most-watched season ever.

The ratings in Monday Night Football on ESPN posted the lowest-rated season, while the Sunday afternoons on CBS, NBC and Fox managed to attract more than 20 million viewers. Super Bowl is a most-watched sporting event that drew 117.5 million viewers.

The NFL owners make money through massive television contracts and labor deals. Last season, the NFL teams saw growth of 57 percent from sizable television and media rights pacts. The league is expected to generate approximately $14 billion in revenue this season, rising up to more than $900 million from last year.

As the ratings in NFL decline by an average of 8 percent last season, the league pledged efforts and sought strategies with broadcast networks to reduce the number of commercial in order to speed up the pace of the game and boost ratings this season.

Cowboys rule world's most valuable global team

The Cowboys beat the Patriots, Yankees ($3.7 billion), ​Manchester United ($3.69 billion) and FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion) as the world's most valuable franchise on a global scale.

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