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Former Dallas Cowboys exec and legendary scout, Gil Brandt, dies at 91

dallas cowboys
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gil Brandt, one of the men credited with revolutionizing professional football scouting as the vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988, died Thursday at 91.

Brandt, who helped build the powerhouse Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1970s, is widely recognized for his innovative approach to talent evaluation. He is credited for introducing computers and analytics to evaluate college players in preparation for the NFL Draft and for creating the NFL Combine.

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In recent years, Brandt stayed active, hosting and providing commentary on Sirius-XM’s NFL Radio.

Gil Brandt helped find some of the Dallas Cowboys’ best players during the 70s and 80s

dallas cowboys
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In his time with Dallas, Brandt’s record in drafting some of the game’s best players speaks for itself. He helped find legendary players such as Roger Staubach and Herschel Walker and also found undrafted free-agent greats like Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, and Everson Walls.

In a statement released by the team, owner Jerry Jones credited Brandt with the franchise’s early success and his lasting impact.

“We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Gil Brandt – a true icon and pioneer of our sport,” Jones said. “He was my friend and a mentor not only to me but to countless executives, coaches, players, and broadcasters across the National Football League, which rightfully earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame where his legacy will be celebrated forever.”

During his time with the Cowboys organization, the team’s Brandt helped form had 20 consecutive winning seasons, and earned spots to five Super Bowls. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

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