Students of technical football will remember Landry for his innovations: the Flex defense; the shifting spectrum of multiple sets and formations, with players in motion in all directions (he was doing that as far back as 1960); his "influence" blocking scheme that relied more on guile than sheer power. In 50 years they might look at Landry's old playbooks and say what an intriguing mind the guy had—solidity and power on defense, trickery on offense. If there's a criticism of his thinking, it's that he relied too much on dazzle, a throwback to the early days when the Cowboys didn't have the personnel to outmuscle anybody.
But Landry's real legacy will be something deeper. In his prime he stood for a coach's control of all things football, the offense, the defense, the makeup of his squad, everything. The loneliness of command. It got the Cowboys into five Super Bowls. Few coaches had the ability to take on such complete control.
Landry never played the political game. He always went his own way, and maybe that's why he's out of a job today. It's sad.