Tom Landry is an interesting subject for me as a Redskins fan because here’s the guy who built America’s Team that became the new arch-rival of the Redskins in the early 1970s replacing the New York Giants and cost the Redskins division-titles in the 1970s which the Redskins corrected in the 1980s. But Mike Ditka I believe has the best quote that at least I’ve heard about Tom Landry so far when he was talking about class.
And Iron Mike said and I’m paraphrasing here, but “that class is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. It might be a great throw from a quarterback or the sound of a ball off of a sluggers bat for a home run. Tom Landry was class”, that when you saw him or knew him you knew he was class and that’s a great way to describe Tom Landry. That greatness is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. You know a great play when you see it, you know a great player when you see them play and you know a great head coach when you play for him. Or watch his career and that’s what Tom Landry was.
Tom Landry’s philosophy of coaching was simply to get the best out of his players and teams that he could possibly could. To make them as good as could be, which is easier said then done and hopefully the goal of every head coach. But then how you do that and every head coach probably has their own philosophy to accomplish that. But with coach Landry it was about never being satisfied with any of his players until he got the best out of him that he could.
Which is why he never congratulated his players or tell them how great of a job that they were doing and never complemented them. Unless he was getting the best play and games out of his players that he could and when he did that is what we saw America’s Team in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s a team that was almost impossible to beat. When they were all playing up to their capabilities and winning championships. And with Tom Landry pushing his players to the limit was on both offense and defense always pushing his players to get the best out of them.
You want to talk about football genius’, how many head coaches do you know that could be either the offensive or defensive coordinator on the team. That knew enough about both offensive and defensive football that he could not only call the offensive plays and defensive plays for his team, put both the offensive and defensive game plans together for his team, not just do all of these things, but do them very well. The only person that did all of these things and did them well is Tom Landry.
Tom Landry is one of the top 3-5 head coaches of all-time because of how knowledgable he was about both sides of the ball. But then was such a great teacher and knew how to communicate his knowledge to his players. And show them exactly what he wanted out of them and very few if anyone did that better than Tom Landry.The numbers in Tom Landry’s career. Twenty consecutive winning seasons from 1966-85 which I believe will never be broken. Eleven straight playoff appearances from 1975-85, that may be never be done again. Two Super Bowl championships in the 1970s, the Cowboys being the only NFC team to win a Super Bowl in the 1970s. Twelve division-titles, five conference championships.
All of these things happening after inheriting one of the worst expansion teams of all-time in the 1960 Cowboys. But it’s not the championships and the 270 odd victories that Tom Landry had but all the knowledge he brought to the game. And his great ability as a teacher to teach his knowledge which is why he’s Ss high on the list of greatest NFL head coaches of all-time.