Patient Ownership: A Thing Of The Past
In today’s hire-and-fire world of pro football it is rare to see a head coach suffer through too many sub .500 seasons without being shown the door. Sometimes it makes you wonder what that coach could’ve developed into or accomplished with that team if the ownership had exhibited a little more patience.
Bill Belichick is regarded as a genius for his accomplishments with the New England Patriots. Knowledgeable football people credit him as the best coach in the league. Few mention that there was a time that Belichick was head coach of the Cleveland Browns and he wasn’t quite as successful. What would’ve happened if the Browns ownership of the times had shown more patience, would they have three Super Bowl rings?
Tom Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years starting in 1960, the team’s first year in the league. The Cowboys record their first year was 0-11-1, and over the course of the next five seasons they never won more than 5 games. Despite this inauspicious start, Cowboys ownership gave Landry a ten year extension and he went on to make (with the help of General Manager Tex Schramm) the Cowboys into “America’s Team”, win two Super Bowls and appear in half the Super Bowls of the 1970’s. From 1965 to 1985, Landry’s Cowboys ran off 20 consecutive winning seasons.
One team showed patience and was nicely rewarded, the other lacked faith in their head coach and fired the man some call the smartest coach in the game. No telling what may have happened if the opposite decisions had been made, but it sure is fun to wonder.