FRISCO (CBSNewsTexas.com) – Former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt has died, the team announced.
Brandt was 91 when he died Thursday morning.
He was the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. Prior to his time with the Cowboys, Brandt worked as a scout for the Los Angeles Rams, then the San Francisco 49ers before becoming the Cowboys’ chief talent scout.
In 1995, Brandt started working for NFL.com as a historian and player analyst.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team is saddened by the passing of Brandt, calling him a true icon and pioneer of football.
“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 said. “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.”
Brandt is credited for the introduction of computers in scouting and evaluation as well as the drafting of Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach and Herschel Walker.
Former Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson told CBS News Texas’ Keith Russell that Brandt wasn’t just Cowboys personnel – he had something extra that made him elite “as far as personnel guys were concerned.”
“Tom Landry was looking for four things. And Gil Brandt found those four things in players. Think about all those great players,” Pearson said. “He found those four things: Number one was character. Number two was intelligence. Number three was passion and number four was talent.”
During his time with the Cowboys, the team had 20 consecutive winning seasons and appeared in five Super Bowls. He was enshrined to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
“Our hearts go out to Gil’s wife, Sara, his son Hunter and all of Gil’s family and friends,” Jones said.