The Tom Landry Trophy


When we look back at all of the all-time great coaches many names come to mind. Don Shula, Vince Lombardi, and Tom Landry will be at the top of our entire list. But one stands in the NFL as the greatest. Since 1970 the most sought after prize in the NFL was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy. There is no doubt about it; Vince Lombardi was a great coach. He coached the Green Bay packers for 9 years during the 1959-1967 NFL seasons. He also coached the Washington Redskins for a season in 1969. Lombardi also won the first 2 Super Bowls. His 9-1 post season record was remarkable as was his 96 wins in his 136 career games as a head coach. If the super bowl trophy had to be named after a person in 1970 than there is no doubt that Lombardi deserved that honor.

We are in a whole new era of football since the days of Lombardi and change is nothing new for the NFL. The league has changed the amount of games played every season. Running backs can be called for unnecessary roughness. And end zone celebrations are often penalized as of recently. Football isn’t as smash mouth as it was during the 60’s and 70’s. As much as we long for knock you out of your socks hits it just can’t happen without some sort of fine or penalty.

If so much of the NFL can change than why can’t the name of the Super Bowl Trophy? In 1970 Vince Lombardi was at the end of his coaching and during that time he was no doubt the best coach in the history of the NFL. History has changed since 1970 and I’m not sure that world would consider him the best coach of all time now. I don’t think too much of the world would consider his accomplishment as greater than the career of Bill Belichick. I’m not trying to take away from the Lombardi Legacy, I’m just pointing out a possible change that shouldn’t be frowned upon by the NFL and fans everywhere.

Tom Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years. There will never be another coach to have tenure with a single team like that ever again in the NFL. Tom Landry coached a NFC champion team 5 times in his career. He won 2 Lombardi Trophy’s during his years as the coach of Americas Team.  From 1966-1988 Tom Landry’s Cowboys only missed the playoffs 5 times. He coached the Dallas Cowboys for 454 games while only losing 178 of them. Tom Landry was a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants while Lombardi was the offensive coordinator and while he was an actual player for the team as well. Tom Landry invented the 4-3 defensive scheme and revolutionized the offensive play by creating a system open up holes for runners instead of Lombardi’s “run to daylight” scheme which had runners find openings themselves.

Jerry Jones first step as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys was firing Landry and replaced him with Jimmy Johnson. Even though Johnson won 2 Lombardi trophy’s Jerry Jones still admits that firing Tom Landry is his worst mistake he has ever made. If Landry had coached the great 90’s team he probably would have got a few more titles for Jerry and I think he knows it.

As I said before, I’m not trying to take away anything that Vince Lombardi has done for the NFL. I’m just trying to point out who, in my opinion, is the greatest coach in the history of the NFL. And also ask a question. “Why can’t it be called the Tom Landry Trophy”?