The Life and Legacy of Tom Landry

“People ask how the Cowboys got the name America’s Team….because people could see Tom Landry standing there with his hat and everything he stood for.”

Tex SchrammCowboys General Manager | 1960-1989

His Life

Landry’s Background

Tom Landry was born in Mission, Texas, where he played high school football.  His parents Ray and Ruth were committed Christians, and Ray owned an automobile garage. Coach Landry had two brothers and a sister.

Tom played college football at the University of Texas as a defensive back and full back. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors before being drafted by the New York Giants.  He went on to become a player coach for the Giants and then defensive coordinator.  Vince Lombardi was the offensive coordinator.

Landry’s Family

Tom met Alicia while they both attended the University of Texas. They married and had three children, Tom Jr., Lisa, and Kitty.

Wes Wise, former mayor of Dallas (1971-76), said, “Tom and Alicia were a unique couple. I feel so honored to have known them. Subconsciously, they had an influence on our community regarding what family values were all about.”

Landry’s Testimony

Coach Landry shared his testimony all over the country at FCA events, community outreaches, and churches. Hear him share his story at a 1972 Billy Graham crusade in Birmingham, Alabama.

His Legacy

Football

Tom Landry was selected as the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys football team in 1960.  After 29 years as the head coach he is considered one of the greatest football coaches to ever coach in the NFL.  He led an expansion team to become “America’s Team.”  He is also considered one of the great innovators designing the 4-3 defense and the flex defense.  He brought back the shotgun formation and introduced motion in offensive backfield.

Coaching Career

  • 20 Consecutive Winning Seasons (1966-85)
  • 2 Super Bowl Titles
  • 2 NFL Championship game appearances
  • 5 NFC Titles
  • 13 Divisional Titles
  • 1966 NFL Coach of the Year
  • 1975 NFC Coach of the Year

FCA

Coach Landry loved the ministry of FCA.  He served as our local board chairman in Dallas as well as the chairman of the National Board of Trustees.  He volunteered at FCA Camps and used the platform of FCA to share his faith.

In the early 90’s he committed to the then President of FCA, Dick Abel, that once a month he would travel and speak on behalf of FCA.  He did this for two years to help our ministry raise money, hire staff, and expand our programs.

Influence

Coach Landry and Roger Staubach had a special relationship.  After winning the Heisman Trophy, Coach Landry drafted Roger in the NFL draft and together they won two Super Bowls.  Watch the video clip to hear Roger share a few thoughts about Coach Landry.

One Mission. One Message. One Team.

The Tom Landry Associates is a program for FCA’s major donors who want to invest in the staff, programs, and impact of this ministry.

How to Invest in the Ministry of FCA

Annual Giving

Are you interested in being a major donor or a Tom Landry Associate for one of our staff in the Western Region?

Learn More
Lifetime Giving

The Tom Landry Associates includes a lifetime level of giving of over 1 million dollars. This is called the Landry Ring of Honor and currently there are more than 40 donors who have invested over 1 million in their lifetime to FCA.

Learn More
Legacy Giving

One of the ways you can support FCA and help us continue our influence to future generations is through your legacy giving. Do you have a will or have you completed your estate planning?

Learn More

Questions? We’d love to help.