Tom Landry Trading Card

Pro football's great defensive innovator

Print Page

Mission, Texas native Tom Landry (1924–2000) played high school, college, and professional football before becoming the legendary head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. This trading card is from his playing years with the New York Giants, 1950–1955.

Landry attended the University of Texas at Austin, studying industrial engineering and playing fullback and defensive back for the Texas Longhorns football team. His college education was interrupted by a tour in the US Army Aircorps during World War II where he co-piloted B-17 bombers over Europe.

Despite his selection by the New York Giants in the 7th round of the 1946 college draft, Landry started his pro football career as a punter with the New York Yankees, an All American Football Conference crosstown rival to the Giants. He played a total of seven years of pro football, six with the Giants.

In 1954, while playing with the Giants, Landry became the team's defensive coordinator, experience he would use to his advantage when he became the head coach of the expansion Dallas Cowboys in 1960. As the inventor of the "4-3" and "flex" defensive strategies, he revolutionized the way the game was played.

Landry coached the Cowboys for 29 years achieving a .605 win percentage, and winning two of the five Super Bowl games in which he coached the squad that became known as "America's Team." He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and the "Ring of Honor" at Texas Stadium in 1993.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Tom Landry Trading Card Artifact from Dallas
Share Your Story

Make your mark on Texas History

Share Your Story
or
Browse All Stories

Read stories from people across Texas

Browse All Stories