As I, along with many other Dallas Cowboys fans, recuperate from another spoiled season, I realized that many of today's group of Cowboys don't realize what it took to make the Cowboys America's Team. I am talking about the early 1960s to mid 1960s Cowboys and the coach who made them "America's Team."
Tom Landry was born September 11, 1924 in Mission, Texas. After valiantly defending his country as a bomber pilot in World War 1 and graduating from the University of Texas in 1949, Landry played cornerback and coached for the New York Giants from 1950-1956. From 1956-1960, Landry was the defensive coordinator for the Giants, where he created the 4-3 defense. (Vince Lombardi was the offensive coordinator, talk about an all-star coaching staff.)
In 1960 Tom Landry was hired by Cowboys' GM Tex Schramm to be head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were not allowed by the NFL to participate in the real draft, so instead the Cowboys had the settle for the expendables off of the other teams. The Cowboys battled to an 0-11-1 finish in the 1960 NFL season.
In the following years, the Cowboys improved but, in 1964, had yet to have had a winning season. Several fans and media in Dallas wanted Landry gone, but owner Clint Murchison did something that, today especially, was unprecedented. He told Tex Schramm to give Landry a 10 year extension.
As the saying goes, the rest is history. Landry led the Cowboys to five Super Bowls, won two (1972 and 1977), obtained 12 division championships, and tallied 270 wins before being fired in 1989 by new Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones.
If only today's Cowboys would look back in the history books and see the "man in the funny hat," maybe they would at least not embarrass all he, among others, created in America's Team.
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