Gil Brandt, Legendary NFL Executive Who Helped Shape Dallas Cowboys, Dies At 91

Legendary former Dallas Cowboys scout Gil Brandt died Thursday at the age of 91, according to a statement from the team.

Brandt served as vice president of player personnel from the Cowboys’ founding in 1960 until 1988, and he played a pivotal role in the development of the great Cowboys teams during the 1980s. “We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Gil Brandt – a true icon and pioneer of our sport,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

“Gil was at the very core of the early success of the Dallas Cowboys and continued to serve as a great ambassador for the organization for decades beyond that,” Jones continued. “His contributions cemented his spot in the Ring of Honor. 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.”

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 03: Gil Brandt with presenter and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during Brandt's enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CANTON, OH – AUGUST 03: Gil Brandt with presenter and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during Brandt’s enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Brandt started with the Los Angeles Rams in a part-time position. In 1958, Brandt took on a full-time role with the San Francisco 49ers before moving to the Dallas Cowboys as the team’s chief talent scout in 1960, when the league created the expansion franchise. (RELATED: Watch The Dallas Cowboys Audition For ‘Yellowstone’ In Epic Video)

In honor of the life of Gil Brandt, the Hall of Fame flag has been lowered to half-staff. #HOFForever pic.twitter.com/VYg4ESHSb6

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 31, 2023

Brandt was with the Dallas Cowboys when they won the Super Bowl in 1972 and 1978. Among the players on those teams who Brandt helped draft were Roger Staubach and Herschel Walker, both of whom would go on to become iconic faces of the franchise.

After leaving the Cowboys organization, Brandt went to work as an NFL media analyst. During his long career, Brandt played a crucial role in creating the NFL Scouting Combine and other modern tools used to develop and scout players. Brandt was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 in honor of his accomplishments in the football industry.


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