At first glance, it seems blasphemous, but at second look might make a lot of sense, especially given the way a certain NFL owner treated his legendary coach at the end of his career.
In The Last Cowboy: A Life of Tom Landry by Mark Ribowsky (who also wrote the quintessential book on Howard Cosell), Alicia Landry, the coach's widow, claims that current Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones not only fired her husband, but also removed their tickets and suite access and never had them back to “Jerry World.”
Landry’s son, Tom Jr., was also barred "without explanation from continuing to buy Cowboys season tickets," according to the book.
The treatment drove the family back to the organization that gave them their start in the NFL, the Giants, and which made Landry the defensive coordinator opposite Vince Lombardi in the 1950s, opening the door to stardom and the dynasty in Dallas by the early 1960s.
The couple became more friendly than ever with the Maras again after Landry's dismissal when Jones took over the team, and Alicia and Ann Mara, the feisty widow of the late Wellington Mara, continue to stay in close contact today.
“The Giants are still like family,” Alicia Landry said in a December 2011 interview, according to the book (per the Post article). “I still have dinner with Ann Mara [Wellington Mara’s widow] when she comes in. ...The Giants never stopped being our family.”
Jones fired Landry after 29 seasons as coach in February 1989.
“That’s why I watch Giants games. I want ‘em to win so I get involved in watching their games, as did [Tom Landry]. We loved the Maras the way we loved the [family of original Cowboys owner Clint Murchison]. After [the firing by Jones], well, it wasn’t the same.”
The Cowboys released this statement from Jones (per the Post article):
Our ownership’s relationship with the Landry family has developed and grown through the years with many shared experiences celebrating the life and career of Tom Landry and his teams. There is a tremendous level of respect and admiration that the Jones family, and everyone in the organization, has for Coach Landry, his family and his legacy.
The two teams play each other in a few weeks in what could now be a showdown for the NFC East lead. Maybe New York can have the Landry family up for a little pregame tribute. Nothing like adding a little fuel to the fire.
Jerry Milani is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless noted.
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