Wonder what would prompt a man on the backside of his 40s to dedicate a blog – and a good deal of time and effort – to a NFL team? The answer, for me, is simple: it is a part of who I am.
I was a child of the sixties, and a teen in the seventies. My childhood and teen years are filled with memories of watching the great Dallas Cowboys teams take the field every week. There were breath-taking, Staubach-led come-from-behind victories. There were brilliant catches by acrobats like Drew Pearson, and bone-jarring tackles by headhunters like Cliff Harris. But above it all, hovering over the greatness that was – and is – the Dallas Cowboys’ organization, there was, as Roger Staubach fondly called him, “The man in the funny hat.” There was the always-stoic, never rattled, well-dressed, well-mannered, football genius…who just happened to be a man of ideals and principles. There was Tom Landry.
For twenty-eight years, Tom Landry was the steady hand at the wheel, guiding, directing, driving the men fortunate
enough to wear the star. When Jerry Jones unceremoniously dumped the man whose name was synonymous with the Dallas Cowboys, it caused no small outcry among the fans. I know plenty who have never forgiven him for the clumsy way he handled our coach.
I was as angry as anyone, but I got over it. Jones realized the mess he had made of things, and, while it took awhile, he did mend the bridge between himself and his team and the man most responsible for building that team into unprecedented greatness.
When I came across the Dallas Morning News note that the 9′ statue of Landry, commissioned by the Jones family, and standing guard outside gate 1 at Texas Stadium, was to be moved to the Cowboys’ new digs, it made me nostalgic. I am comforted to know that the brilliant future Jones envisions for his team will not dismiss the glories of the past.
That magnificent likeness of The Coach will be a prominent reminder of the instrinsic values and singular focus that provided the bedrock foundation upon which greatness was built.
Tom Landry’s Legacy:
- Record: 250-162-6
- 14 Division titles
- 5 Conference titles
- 2 Super Bowl victories
- from 1966 – 1985, made 18 playoff appearances in 20 years
- from 1966-1985, 20 consecutive winning seasons