Tom Landry said Monday that saying goodby to the Dallas Cowboys was one of the most difficult things he has ever had to do.
Landry, who spent 29 years as the Cowboys’ coach, choked up and couldn’t finish his speech in a lecture hall.
“It was hard to keep your emotions under control,” said a red-eyed Landry. “I tried to tell (the players) that this crisis will pass, that you have to keep moving forward.”
New owner Jerry Jones removed Landry as coach Saturday, naming University of Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson as his replacement.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” said Dallas linebacker Eugene Lockhart of Landry’s farewell speech. “Coach told us he loves us all and, although he couldn’t be with us in person from now on, he would be with us in spirit.”
Quarterback Danny White observed that it was difficult to see Landry in a situation he couldn’t handle, adding, “It’s something I’ll never forget. It may have lasted only five minutes but time stood still, believe me.”
Landry said he didn’t ever want to coach again. Nor does he want to get into politics. He had one year left on his contract and is owed approximately $800,000.
“I can’t stay inactive, so I will have to do something,” Landry said.