The 1964 ink on Tom Landry’s 10-year extension to coach the Dallas Cowboys is still wet.
The only thing funnier than this signing by owner Clint Murchison Jr. and general manager Tex Schramm is the belief that a man wearing a fedora (of all things) can fine-tune the DNA in a team destined for mediocrity.
After five uncolored seasons, head coach Tom Landry has posted a record of 18-46-4. In Landry’s coaching debut season, the former defensive guru landed a 0-11-1 record. Tom Landry was so defensive minded during his debut that he forgot one wins games by scoring points.
Not one winning season exists among his five forgettable seasons.
Tom Landry, who fabricated the “4-3″ defense into existence as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, has failed to roll over the success to the Cowboys as he did with the Giants in the late 50’s.
Meanwhile, former offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, Vince Lombardi (coached with Tom Landry), now the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, has three NFL West titles and two NFL Championships to his credit.
It is clear that the treadmill of recycled losing seasons is on the horizon for the Dallas Cowboys. Tom Landry is in a desperate need of a prayer and a few Hail Mary to disinfect the toxic germs the team has inquired. And the way things are heading, it will take another five seasons to rebuild and wash away the disease Landry has brought with him from New York.
A few years from now, if not sooner, Tom Landry will be forgotten. Sure, some desperate team will swing him on to coach up the defense. But for now, one can only hope that inside that fedora rests some magic. If there’s a good time as any, now is the time Landry pulls the white rabbit out.
Otherwise, he’s just another coaching ghost in the wind.
Or, as some might say, a lame duck wearing an ugly fedora waiting for the light over the stadium to fade.