When Clint Murchison Jr. first purchased the Dallas Cowboys, and as a way for the old NFL ownership to dominate in a newly opened up Dallas City, he chose Tom Landry to be his head coach.
Tom Landry had been a player for a winning New York Giant team. He was a good player in the secondary and respected enough to be made a player/coach. He was made a defensive coach, along with the offensive coach Vince Lombardi.
Lombardi was made head coach for Green Bay, while Landry was made head coach for the Cowboys. Landry was a complex analyzer while Lombardi was much more basic and simpler in style.
His first season as head coach, the team only achieved a single tie and no wins. The team did not have a winning season in the first 6 seasons of the team. This hurt Landry deeply and brought him to tears before his players. He apologized to his players, for not having lead them better.
That became the turning point for the Cowboys. Murchison then gave Landry a vote of confidence and gave him a confidence contract for an extended period.
The team made it to a couple NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, without wins. The label of not being able to win with all on the line, started to stick until the team won their first Super Bowl.
After Roger Staubach was made starting quarterback, in season, 1971, the Cowboys won their first Lombardi.
The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice (1974 and 1984).
Tom Landry took charge of both the offense and defensive sides of the ball. His team was earmarked by complex systems and demanding very high levels of team oriented executions. His defense was noted by offset 4-3. The two interior tackles were off set from the line of scrimmage and made it very difficult to run on the defense, while this defense ran it's course.
The offense had multiple movements, highlighted by pre snap up and down line shift. This had to be picked up with backfield changes at the snap. Plays exploited many variations with gadget and multiple movements of who contacted the ball during multiple player exchanges.
The reason that these concepts were not repeated by other teams was that then, very few were even able to teach and explain the intricacies.
Continually, system over leadership became the burden.
Tom Landry had been a B-52 pilot in WWII. Also, in the off seasons, Landry would pair up with Billy Graham on a large number of crusade meetings.
Towards the end, Landry would not give up his control of play selections and on the field control. This became a termination cause for Roger Staubach. He went to Landry and told him that Roger would then quit. Staubach told Landry that he would come back if he was given control of the offense, again.
Landry would not renig. From there. the NFL over took the play of the scheme, and moved on.
It then became necessary for the Cowboys to move on.
Poor Jerry was not prepared to handle the many delicate issues that would almost immediately fly in his direction, and not just creating cash flow out of the red and to a black status.