Originally Posted by ObsiWan
that no free agency "point" is a red herring.
Back when Landry started out, as you and Steel correctly stated, there was no free agency.
But think about it; you could see no FA as a plus. Without the threat of free agency you could collect a group of solid players through the draft and not worry about them bouncing to another team in the FA mkt. And back then (1960-1967) the draft had 20 rounds.
Like both Landry and Knoll did, if you had decent scouts, you could collect a solid talent base for your team and depend on keeping it for the long haul. ...unless THEY (the HC and/or GM) decided to trade it away.
So that "no free agency" thing can be a help or a hinderance.... depends on how savvy your organization is.
I wouldn't call it a red herring. It's a fact that you can turn an organization around more quickly now with free agency than you could simply building through the draft.
However, it is true that you could build a dynasty more easily by keeping the players you wanted to keep.
Chuck Noll was the beneficiary of some incredible drafts in the early '70s, including the 1974 draft which is commonly considered the best draft of all time for a single franchise and saw four future Hall of Famers taken by the Steelers: Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Jack Lambert, and Mike Webster.
So then the question becomes: how much influence did Landry have over the selections in the drafts engineered by Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt?