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Patriots’ 8th Loss Keeps Record Standing for Tom Landry’s Cowboys

The New England Patriots have been the gold standard for success in the NFL and perhaps all American team sports for the last two decades. However, their 8th loss in 2020 insured that they wouldn’t have a winning season for the first time in 20 years. It also kept the Dallas Cowboys as the recordholders for most consecutive winning seasons, going back to the Tom Landry Era.

Landry’s Cowboys had 20 winning seasons from 1966 to 1985. The Patriots have had 19 in a row going into 2020 and would’ve tied Dallas if they’d stayed above .500 in the standings.

Yesterday, New England lost on the road to the Miami Dolphins to fall to 6-8.  Even if they finish 8-8 on the year, that is not considered a “winning season” by normal NFL standards.

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Today’s Patriots loss ends their streak of consecutive winning seasons at 19.Tom Landry’s Cowboys have the record at 20, from 1966 to 1985.

The sustained success of the Dallas Cowboys in the late 60s and 70s is what helped propel them to the status of “America’s Team.” While they only won two Super Bowls during Landry’s legendary run as head coach they appeared in three others, reached multiple conference championship games, and won 13 division titles during those 20 seasons.

Sure, the Patriots have gone 6-3 in Super Bowls during the Belichick-Brady Era and have all the bragging rights you can ask for. But Tom Landry kept the Cowboys as a relevant, successful franchise with multiple starting quarterbacks.

Now that Tom Brady’s playing out his twilight years in Tampa Bay, the Patriots are suddenly not so great.

Without question, Landry’s trademark fedora and Belichick’s signature scowl would both belong on the Mount Rushmore for all-time NFL coaches. But while there’s plenty of room for debate on their career achievements, this is at least one record which will should remain with Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys for a long time.

The Seattle Seahawks are the next closest team to the record after completed their 7th-straight winning season in 2019 and clinching another in 2020 with 10 wins already. But they’re going to have to keep it going for a long time if they want to sniff the Cowboys and Patriots.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. Tom Landry what a class act! If ole Bum Bright would have put some money in getting players… there is no telling how many Championships Coach Landry would have won! When Jimmy Johnson took over the Cowboy’s he said he had college teams that were faster than the Cowboy’s were at that time but coach Landry was coaching up what he had and still making them competitive! Coach Landry was ahead of his time!!!

  2. The Commerce Bank had the Cowboy Weekly for their Customers to get a copy. The greatest picture was Tom Landry patroling the sideline!!! Started the franchise with pieces!! Make them Champions!!

  3. Cowboy Fan Ed, could not agree with you more, Tom Landry was a CLASS ACT.

    Being a long time Cowboy fan, he is the best Head Coach in NFL history. And in a time before having a coach for every position on the field, that they have today.

    Happy to see he will still have that record.

  4. Landry was the king of invention and innovation. He created the middle linebacker and made him the center of the defense and other teams copied. He started the QB reading the defense before the play. Had the QB use timing and throw to a spot rather than track the receiver. And having a winning season for 20 years meant rarely getting good draft picks but still kept his team competitive by adjusting to his weaknesses. Don’t have a good offensive line? Bring back the shotgun. He had at least one trick play for every game to jump start his team if they were struggling and keep the defense guessing.

  5. As far as successful sports franchises, I would put my San Antonio Spurs up their for sustained excellence and longevity. 5 NBA championships in 6 appearances, along with numerous conference championship appearances in a 20 yr period where they never missed the playoffs. And just as importantly a class organization all the way down the line.

    The cowboys were trailblazers in the NFL in many ways. The Americas Team moniker was well earned and they were largely responsible for the growth and popularity of the NFL in its early stages. Their continued popularity today certainly benefits the NFL exposure wise. AH yes those golden years of the Tom Landry era. Prolonged success done with class.

  6. Tom Landry was a one in a lifetime coach. He brought style,poise,and character to the game. He is the reason why many of us Cowboys fans remain loyal and became America’s Team. My favorite moment is when the boys won the Super Bowl against Denver, the team picked Tom Landry up on their shoulders, and he SMILED and held up the #1 sign. PRICELESS.

  7. You hit the nail on the head for me Gloria! Tom Landry is the Dallas Cowboys and when JJ came in and fired him one thing he couldn’t fire was Tom Landry’s Legacy! Most of us will never see a 20 year run going to the playoffs again!

  8. As great as Coach Landry was on the field, it pales in comparison to what Tom Landry was as a man. From his war service to service to fellow man Mr Landry is someone to look up to and strive to be like. He is of my grandparents time, the greatest generation, who sadly are almost all gone. At a time when we could really use their guidance. Mr. Landry remains in our hearts and history to share so that others may learn the values of what makes one great and an example of what can be achieved.

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