American football coach (1924-2000). The first--and for some, still the only--head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Started coaching the Cowboys in 1960 and was fired in 1988. He always dressed well on the sidelines, and was noted for his impassive demeanor and the felt hat he always wore. He had 20 straight winning seasons, five NFC titles, two Super Bowl wins, and a career record of 270-178-6. He was respected and loved by both his own players and opposing teams--the idea of dumping a cooler full of Gatorade on Landry would have been as alien to the Cowboys as a basketball on the 50-yard line. Even in death, he's considered a Texas icon.

He was born to coach, perhaps, even starting while he was still playing for the New York Giants, helping coach the defensive backfield.

He became "God's Coach", for "God's Team". Never mind that players like Lance Alworth and Lance Rentzel were quite unsaintly, and that the antics of many other such players made their way into slightly-fictionalized, best-selling accounts over the years. Even management people, such as Tex Schramm, were the Anti-Landry, a bunch of high-living Good Old Playboys; those were the people, after all, who gave us the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and had they had their way, those women would have been something raunchier than what was actually presented - the slight sanitizing was done, perhaps, out of respect for Coach Landry.

As a kid, he annoyed me, seeming like your typical smug FCA icon, but consider that his influence basically saved the lives of cocaine-addicted players like Hollywood Henderson and Mercury Morris (though Duane Thomas was a lost cause), and players like Bob Lilly and Roger Staubach have become, while annoying, solid Landry-like role models for the next generation. Which is good, since we don't have Coach Landry any more.

He was the last coach to wear a suit and fedora on the sidelines, an anachronism at the time, but, in retrospect, in this age of massive corporate-sponsored clothing deals, in which all coaches dress alike in their team-colors endorsement-deal sweat suits, Landry's conservative throwback garb exuded class.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.