On This Date In History: Tom Landry Is Born

Tom Landry was born on September 11, 1924 in Mission, Texas.  Tom played in the AAFC and the NFL, but is best known as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  On December 27, 1959, Landry was hired by the Cowboys ownership to become the first head coach of the new expansion franchise in Dallas.  Landry remained the head coach of America's Team for 29 NFL seasons, from 1960  through 1988.  In those 29 years Landry led the team to two Super Bowl wins and five NFC titles.  His career record is 270-178-6, making him the third winningest coach in NFL history.  

Landry is one of the great innovators in the history of the game.  As the Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants Landry created the 4 - 3 defense.  He also created the Flex Defense and revived the man in motion and shotgun offenses.  He was also a great leader and teacher, with five of his assistant coaches eventually serving as head coaches - Mike Ditka, Dan Reeves, John Makovic, Gene Stallings and Raymond Berry.  After finishing the 1988 season with a record of 3 - 13, Landry was fired as head coach shortly after the team was sold to Jerry Jones.  Just two years later Landry was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

On February 12, 2000 Landry passed away after battling leukemia.  On what would have been his 88th birthday we say Happy Birthday Tom Landry.  Thanks for making the game of football forever better. 

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