Perspectives; Tom Landry

Thomas Wade Landry (1924 – 2000) was an American professional football player and coach. He was the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League, a position he held for 29 seasons. During his coaching career, he created many innovative formations and methods made famous by the Doomsday Defense squads he built during his tenure with the Cowboys. His 29 consecutive years from 1960 to 1988 as the coach of one team is an NFL record, along with his 20 consecutive winning seasons between 1966 and 1985, considered his most impressive professional accomplishment. In addition Landry won two Super Bowl titles, five NFC titles, and 13 Divisional titles. He compiled a 270–178–6 record, the fourth-most wins all-time for an NFL coach. His 20 career playoff victories are the second most in NFL history.

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"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve."

"When you want to win a game, you have to teach. When you lose a game, you have to learn."

"Really, coaching is simplicity. It’s getting players to play better than they think that they can."

"When a big play occurs for our team, I’m concentrating on how the defense is reacting to it. Most of the time, I don’t see the great catch or the long run. What I’m looking at is how the other team defended it."

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."

"I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game."

"There are coaches to whom winning or losing means something close to life or death. If they lose, then their life has somehow been diminished. I’m not that way, and it keeps me steady."

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