43 Facts About Tom Landry


Thomas Wade Landry was an American professional football player and coach.


Tom Landry's 29 consecutive years from 1960 to 1988 as the coach of one team is an NFL record, along with his 20 consecutive winning seasons, which is considered to be his most impressive professional accomplishment.


Tom Landry was named the NFL Coach of the Year in 1966 and the NFC Coach of the Year in 1975.


Tom Landry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.


Tom Landry's father had suffered from rheumatism, and relocated to the warmer climate of Texas from Illinois.


Ray Tom Landry was an athlete, making his mark locally as a pitcher and football player.


Tom Landry attended the University of Texas at Austin as an industrial engineering major.


Tom Landry had given thought to enrolling at Mississippi State University, where his friend John Tripson was an All-American, but did not want to be far away from his friends and family in Texas.


Tom Landry interrupted his education after a semester to serve in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.


Tom Landry was inspired to join the armed forces in honor of his brother Robert Tom Landry, who had enlisted in the Army Air Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Tom Landry began his basic training at Sheppard Field near Wichita Falls, Texas, and his preflight training at Kelly Field, located near San Antonio, Texas.


Tom Landry's first experience as a bomber was a tough one.


At the age of 19, Tom Landry was transferred to Sioux City, Iowa, where he trained as a copilot for flying a B-17.


In 1944, Tom Landry got his orders, and from Sioux City he went to Liverpool, England, where he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force, 493rd Squadron in Ipswich.


Tom Landry earned his wings and a commission as a Second Lieutenant at Lubbock Army Air Field, and was assigned to the 493d Bombardment Group at RAF Debach, England, as a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber copilot in the 860th Bombardment Squadron.


Tom Landry returned to his studies at the University of Texas in the fall of 1946.


Tom Landry received his bachelor's degree from UT in 1949.


Tom Landry was selected in the 19th round of the 1948 AAFC Draft.


Tom Landry played one season in the All-America Football Conference for the New York Yankees, then moved in 1950 across town to the New York Giants.


Tom Landry was selected by the New York Giants in the 20th round of the 1947 NFL Draft.


Under the guidance of Giants head coach Steve Owen, Tom Landry got his first taste of coaching.


Tom Landry got up, and explained what the defense would do to counter the offense, and this became Tom Landry's first coaching experience.


Tom Landry played through the 1955 season, and acted as a player-assistant coach the last two years, 1954 through 1955, under the guidance of new Giants head coach Jim Lee Howell.


Tom Landry ended his playing career with 32 interceptions in only 80 games, which he returned for 404 yards and three touchdowns.


Tom Landry recovered 10 fumbles, returning them for 67 yards and two touchdowns.


Tom Landry led one of the best defensive teams in the league from 1956 to 1959.


Tom Landry reasoned that the best counter was a defense that blotted out the daylight.


When Tom Landry first implemented it in 1964, fans were initially mystified when they saw the Cowboys defense not swarming to the ball.


The Flex Defense worked so well that Tom Landry had to create an offense to score on it, one which disguised an otherwise simple play with multiple formations.


Tom Landry did not always search inside the traditional college football pipeline for talent.


Tom Landry looked to the world of track and field for speedy skill-position players.


Tom Landry had signed a three-year contract in the summer of 1987.


Nonetheless, Tom Landry felt confident he could correct the mistakes he had been making in recent years.


Schramm was in tears at the press conference which announced the coaching change, and he was forced out as general manager shortly afterwards; Schramm and Tom Landry had been together for 29 years since the Cowboys' inception in 1960.


When Tom Landry met with his players two days later to tell them how much he would miss them, he began to cry, and the players responded with a standing ovation.


Tom Landry received an outpouring of public support after his firing.


Jones did not discuss the matter with Tom Landry before announcing the decision.


Since the dismissal, Jones has indicated he regrets the process of Tom Landry's firing and his role in it.


Tom Landry's funeral service was held at Highland Park United Methodist Church, where he was an active and committed member for 43 years.


Tom Landry was interred in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas.


The Tom Landry Welcome Center at Dallas Baptist University, where he was a frequent chapel speaker and award recipient, was posthumously dedicated to him in 2002.


In 2013, a major new biography of Tom Landry was published, entitled The Last Cowboy.


When coaching on the sidelines Tom Landry always wore a suit and tie with his trademark fedora.