Today in Texas History – February 25

From the Annals of the Cowboys – In 1989, Jerry Jones, the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys, fired head coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career.   Jones made Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm accompany him to Landry’s vacation home in Lakeway.  Schramm characterized it as, “a very difficult meeting.  It’s very, very sad.  It’s tough when you break a relationship you’ve had for 29 years.”  Schramm stood solemnly and red-eyed at a news conference where JJ announced the firing of Landry later that evening at the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters. Landry’s recent results had been well below his standards with the Cowboys failing to make the playoffs in 4 of his last 5 seasons.  Landry had indicated that he wanted to coach into the 90’s if he wasn’t fired. Jones for his part wasted no time in kicking Landry to the curb having only finalized his purchase of the iconic franchise two days before firing Landry.  Jones was adamant that he would not have bought the team unless he could bring his long-time friend and former University of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson on to lead the Cowboys.  Landry ended his coaching  career as the third-winningest coach in NFL history behind only George Halas and Don Shula, with a record of 270-178-6.  He ranks only behind Bill Bellicheat with 5 trips to the SuperBowl as a head coach.

For his part, Red had already given up his 27 year fanship of the Cowboys during the strike year of 1987 when Cowboys quarterback Danny White led the movement to break the players union and Dallas fans thumbed their noses at the players they formerly idolized.

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