Tom Landry THE texan, The coach, the legend

Tom Landry was born in Mission, Texas on September 11th, 1924. Landry played quarterback for the Mission Eagles. Growing up, Landry had three siblings; Ruthie, Jack, and Robert. The stadium where Landry played is now named Tom Landry Stadium in his honor.

Downtown Mission, Texas

After high school, Landry enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a degree in industrial engineering. Later on, he played fullback and defensive back for the Longhorns. Landry began his professional football career playing cornerback for the New York Yankees in the All-American Conference. The New York Yankees changed and became the Giants shortly after Landry joined them. While on the Giants, he continued playing cornerback for the next six seasons.

Landry wore number 49 when he played for the Giants

In 1960, Landry began coaching the Dallas Cowboys. After a couple losing seasons, The Cowboys found their rhythm. Under Landry, the team posted 20 consecutive winning seasons, 13 Division Championships, five NFC Titles, and two Super Bowls.

Tom Landry on the sidelines during a game against the Steelers

Tom Landry was known as the man in the hat. From the sidelines, you could never miss him sporting his fedora. He was said to have wore it to match his stoic personality. Either way, the hat was unique, and it was something that would be remembered forever.

After a notable performance by Landry and the Cowboys, the team struggled for a couple of years. The Cowboys dismissed Tom Landry in February of 1989. The once seemingly flawless man had come to the end of his historical road.

The Dallas Morning News announcing Landry's firing in the paper

After 29 seasons with the Cowboys, Landry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Once a young player himself, Landry motivated many young men through his unique ways of coaching. “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control”(

Tom Landry induction into the Hall of Fame

Sadly, Tom Landry died of Leukemia in February of 2000, leaving behind Alicia Wiggs, his wife of 51 years, and their three children. Following the days after his death, hundreds of fans honored him with flowers and banners outside Texas Stadium.

When you think of the name Tom Landry, wins and Super Bowls shouldn't be the first thing you think of. Think of the man he was and the millions of fans and players he inspired. Landry's ultimate sacrifice for his players, faculty, and family, allowed him to create a brand of football that the NFL can forever hang his hat on.

Tom Landry and the Cowboys celebrate after their Super Bowl 12 Victory

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