Tom Landry flew bombing missions over Europe and wore a bulletproof vest all for America’s Team

Imagine surviving 30 World War 2 bombing missions and then getting a death threat while coaching an NFL game

Barry Gipson


Tom Landry Dallas Cowboys Rolex NFL Army B-17 Bomber Bulletproof vest
Tom Landry, a legendary figure in NFL coaching, is celebrated for his transformative accomplishments during his 29-year tenure as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. Under his guidance, the Cowboys became a football powerhouse, achieving five Super Bowl appearances and winning two. Landry’s iconic sideline presence, characterized by his trademark fedora, blazer, and Rolex Day-Date watch, set the standard for future NFL coaches, making him an enduring symbol of the sport.

The Definition Of Courage

Tom Landry is an NFL icon. Not just because of his body of work on the field as an NFL Head Coach. Prior to becoming the leader of men with the Dallas Cowboys in 1960, he was learning to fly a B-17 bomber years earlier in 1942. He joined for personal reasons after the loss of his brother doing the exact same thing only months previously.

Many NFL fans are likely familiar with his 29 seasons of service to America’s Team on the field. Especially in the winning department. Originally born in Mission, TX this war hero later in his career would receive a death threat during a game in Anaheim, CA.

Imagine surviving 30 World War 2 bombing missions for your country and then getting a death threat while coaching an NFL game in California. He went from installing the brand new SHOTGUN offense with Roger Staubach who also served in the US Navy to wearing a bulletproof vest to finish coaching a game. The definition of courage.

“If our country was threatened the way it was at that time weather you come back or not was the important thing. So I could see myself doing it all again.” ~Tom Landry

Former Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry Received a Death Threat During the Game, Rushed Off the Field, and Returned to the Sidelines Wearing a Bulletproof Vest. Here he is speaking with QB Roger Staubach on the sideline afterward in Anaheim, CA.

Service Matters

If you watched Coach Landry in action during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys like I did you were…



Barry Gipson

A Father, Dallas Cowboys fan, and veteran sharing advice and more for the '24 NFL season. A pivot in content.