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Landry's Boys: An Oral History of a Team and an Era Hardcover – September 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572437464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572437463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Tom Landry was a highly respected but little-known assistant coach for the New York Giants before being named the first head coach of the expansion Dallas Cowboys. Stoic and unprepossessing on the sidelines but brilliant and unyielding off the field, Landry guided the Cowboys for their first 29 years, leading them from league laughingstock to 18 playoff appearances, five Super Bowls, and two world championships. So sustained was their success and so magnetic was the way the franchise was run that the Cowboys became known as America’s Team. How did it happen? In Landry’s Boys, best-selling author Peter Golenbock goes directly to the source: the men who made it happen. In this oral history of the Dallas Cowboys during the Landry years, Golenbock interviewed the players, coaches, and front office personnel who forged the Cowboys legacy. Revealing, engaging, and evocative interviews include such Cowboys luminaries as Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Drew Pearson, Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Hayes, Calvin Hill, Chuck Howley, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Eddie LeBaron, Frank Clark, Tex Schramm—and Landry himself. Landry’s Boys tells how Landry shaped the Cowboys, with exacting precision, to become the dominant team in the NFL; how the assassination of President Kennedy in the team’s home city of Dallas seemed to place a curse on the fortunes of the Cowboys; how, in the end, the Cowboys helped to pull the town out of its civic hell; how quarterback Craig Morton almost led the Cowboys to the mountaintop, but was cast down to the shadows by the rise of his successor, Roger Staubach; how Duane Thomas rallied the team to two Super Bowls while waging a war against the game’s racial double standard. It’s all here, from the Cowboys’ bumbling beginning at the Cotton Bowl in the early sixties to the team’s misses later in the decade, its ultimate victory in the seventies, and the crumbling of the dynasty in the eighties. Landry’s Boys is the definitive oral history of America’s Team through its first three decades.

About the Author

Peter Golenbock is a five-time New York Times best-selling author and is widely acknowledged as the best oral historian in the literature of sport. Some of the his best-known books include The Bronx Zoo, which he wrote in 1979 with Sparky Lyle; Bums; Balls; American Zoom; and Personal Fouls.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Howard Wexler on July 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am impressed and was entertained and informed.

First off, the book has a lot of different voices through the entire book, especially in the early years of the Cowboys. It has good stories, especially where the real story and the published one are different.

And while the self-serving antics of Hollywood Henderson get boring, it is a relatively minor issue.

Kudos to the author for getting a lot out of Duane Thomas and other tough interviews.

The portraits of people like Tom Landry and Don Meredith are nuanced and very human.

Only reason it does not get 5 stars is because it ends too early, at the beginning of the Jerry Jones era. Also, a picture of Lance Rentzel is labeled as Lance Alworth, there is reference to Sil Gillman as being an assistant coach of the team and other typos.
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Format: Hardcover
Purchased this book at St. Vincent de Paul for $4.00, and will say that it is well worth the price as far as what I paid for it. Goes into a year-by-year description of the Cowboys prior to their entrance into the NFL, and the years afterwards. Do not look for a real in depth, statistical breakdown of individual games or even seasons; much of a particular season is glossed over in generalities. Golenbock's style focuses on gathering various insights from players that experienced the year in question, and get their overall opinion/take on what the team went through (very similar to that of his book "Amazing" which detailed the history of the New York Mets, but much more dynamic writing than that one). I found the interviews with Frank Clarke and Pete Gent especially interesting as far as factors that affected the overall "chemistry" and "cohesiveness" of the team in the formative years. And reading what kind of beating that Don Meredith took week in and week out, and how to a man, each of the members of the team admired the level of his overall courage, certainly gave me a new perspective on Meredith as a whole vs. that of what we were used to seeing in the early 70's on "Monday Night Football" up in the booth.

Will leave the overall judgement and analysis of Tom Landry to those who read this book so they can form their own opinion. Nevertheless, it is both candid and revealing at times how some of the players truly loathe Coach Landry. And whether justified or not, it is a very good insight as to how opinions can vary to such a wide degree when talking about the same individual.

If you are a football fan in general (especially one who grew up following the game in the 60's) and can get this book at a relatively reasonable price, I would recommend buying it because it is very captivating at times.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W. Jackson on January 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up a Cowboys fan from 0-11-1 to Jerry Jones the book was an interesting read. After finishing it, however, I kept asking the question what point was Golenboch trying to make. This book makes "North Dallas Forty" come across as a joyous New Year's Eve party. The author seems to convey having played for the Cowboys as a completely joyless adventure.

I've read just about every book on the Cowboys of that era and while I was impressed with the research it was far, far too negative for my taste - especially about Landry and Schramm.
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