FRISCO, TEXAS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Dallas Cowboys mourn the loss of former executive Gil Brandt who passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday morning.
“The final member of the Cowboys triumvirate that began this organization in 1960 passed away on Thursday at the age of 91,” Mickey Spagnola said. “Gil was best known for revolutionizing how the NFL scouted college talent and Gil mined a lot of talent from small schools and especially the HBCUs,” Spahnola said.
Brandt is credited for the introduction of computers in scouting and evaluation along with the drafting of players such as Roger Staubach and Herschel Walker.
“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called him a true icon and pioneer of our sport. Gil was able to find players like Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright, Jethro Pugh, and Everson Walls, a local kid from Richardson, Texas, from Grambling State and Everson remembers Gil this way,” Spagnola said.
Former defensive back for the Cowboys Everson Walls said, “I don’t think a lot of the guys here kind of appreciate what Gil Brandt did for the Cowboys You know, he was able to change the game itself.” Walls also said, “The way things were, the way he recruited, the way he scouted, and also the way he got cheap labor we tell people that all the time.”
Brandt’s longevity also turned him into one of the few unofficial historians for the NFL — a role that served him well when the league celebrated its 100th anniversary the same year he went into the Hall of Fame.
“But he was a guy that was legendary for the NFL game and during his last years he was also was very involved in the Black College Hall of Fame,” Walls said.
“There are so many stories to tell about Gil Brandt’s career that lasted 29 years with the Cowboys that we could write a book about,” Spagnola said from the Star.