This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.
Through the first three years of his tenure as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry only managed an overall regular season record of 9-28-3. Though the team had improved in both 1961 and 1962, it must have been difficult for Dallas fans to watch Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers win two consecutive NFL titles. Lombardi was, of course, an assistant with the New York Giants at the same time as Landry, and the two men were already being compared early in their head coaching careers.
Following the end of the regular season in 1962, the Dallas Morning News ran a short piece entitled “Landry a Perfectionist.” The lead sentence made the comparison between Landry and Lombardi.
The criticism that has been aimed at [Tom] Landry is that he is unemotional. Some people want him to be a fiery, passionate leader like Lombardi. They figure that anybody who’s winning is bound to have the proper outlook.
Former Giant coach Jim Lee Howell sort of came to Landry’s defense.
“Tom is a warm person,” said Howell, “but not with the players. He gets impatient with them. He doesn’t pat them on the back. He expects them to go out their and do their jobs. . . .
“Tom’s a perfectionist, and that’s what you want. Paul Brown is the cold type, too, and he did plenty of winning when he had the horses.
Dallas fans were going to need more patience in 1963. We will get started on that season tomorrow.
Here are a few more photos from the 1962 season.