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Tom Landry Died a New York Giants Fan

If you remember how Landry was fired as head coach, you are probably not surprised by the news — revealed in author Mark Ribowsky’s The Last Cowboy: A Life of Tom Landry, which comes out on Monday — especially given that Landry played and coached for the Giants before he took over the expansion Dallas Cowboys in 1960. But if you remember his many years with the team fondly, you are probably at least a little bummed out now. Beyond Landry’s firing, there is also this, according to Landry’s widow, Alicia:

[S]hortly after the coach was dismissed, Jerry Jones confiscated the luxury suite the Landry family had been given free by [owner Clint] Murchison when Texas Stadium was constructed in 1971.

Shortly afterward, the book says, Landry’s eldest son was informed he would no longer be able to buy the six season tickets at the 50-yard line that he had purchased every year the stadium was open.

“It was a very nice box too, right next to the press box,” she said, according to the book. “I guess they really needed it. Whatever the reason, we didn’t have the seats.”

Dang, Jerry.

7 comments on “Tom Landry Died a New York Giants Fan

  1. In the continuing hagiography of the sainted one, we should remember that bad blood flowed both ways from the beginning. Despite media speculation at the time, pretty much everybody and their grandmother knew that a change in ownership also meant a coaching change. I know for a fact that Tex and Marty Schramm knew it. Tom and Alicia did, too. While Jerry certainly rolled into town somewhat inelegantly, with Jimmy in tow, the man in the hat did a petulant thing in making himself scarce. He jumped on his private plane and split for Lakeway, forcing the Arkansan to hunt him down. Not exactly Christianlike behavior in my book.

  2. Oh please, dude. You want to downgrade Landry’s Christianity because he didn’t make it easy for Jerry to fire him?? I’m far from a Bible-thumper, but that’s quite a reach.

  3. I haven’t the inclination nor wisdom to “downgrade Landry’s Christianity.” Nobody’s perfect was my point. When Tom’s new employer was coming to relieve him of his job, his default behavior was petulance and immaturity. He ran away. He was 65 at the time. I’m no theologian, but that doesn’t strike me as a Christianlike thing to do in the face of adversity, and he was openly a person of deep faith throughout his adult life. Noting this anomalous moment from ’89 doesn’t diminish his faith.

  4. Jackson,

    Who cares if Tom Landry decided to leave. Where is it written that someone has to stick around for a face-to-face firing?

    Jerry can make all the public statements about how the Cowboys still honor Tom Landry, but it seems to me that the truth is that Jerry wanted all evidence of the Landry era erased, and he got his way.

    The Cowboys under Jones’ ownership had early success with Jimmy Johnson as coach, but even Jimmy couldn’t take Jerry for long. Since then, Dallas has been mediocre, and it is my belief that they will never rise to greatness again as long as Jones is the owner. Jerry’s elitist attitude has permeated throughout the team. Almost every player acts like there should be a separate set of rules just for them.

    Very hard to keep on supporting Dallas, but unlike Landry I do not have a backup team to support.

  5. @Mimi, it isn’t written anywhere that someone should face the music of a pink slip at age 65 after a 30 year gig. Landry was free to run away, under no contractual obligation to come into the office and take it like an adult. A silly notion on my part. What confuses, however, is your belief that Jones, as you put it, “wanted all evidence of the Landry era erased, and he got his way.” I’m unclear what you mean. After all, Jones put him in the Cowboys “Ring Of Honor” (the highest accolade that ownership bestows), and he attended the ceremony. His bronze statue, commissioned by Jones, stood outside of Texas Stadium and now stands in front of the new facility in Arlington. The record book further attests to his 29 seasons as head coach. He’s rightfully acknowledged, both within and outside of the organization.