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Tom Landry Biography

The Early Years, The Innovator, Chronology, America's Team, Awards And Retirement

1924-2000

American football coach

Every football Sunday for twenty-nine years, Tom Landry stood expressionless on the sidelines as coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League (NFL). Whether winning or losing, Landry, in his suit and trademark fedora, always remained calm. His stoic demeanor and aura of control demanded respect from both his opponents and his players. He possessed a superior football mind and was recognized for his innovations even as a young man. As a player-coach with the New York Giants, Landry created the 4-3 defense, a staple of pro football, featuring four linemen and three linebackers. In Dallas, he was the first to use computers for scouting and game preparation. Landry's continuing influence on the game is carried forward by former staff members and players still active in the league.

Sketch by Aric Karpinski

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFootball