Gil Brandt (born March 4, 1933) is an American former football executive who was the vice president of player personnel in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
|Born:||March 4, 1933|
|High school:||North Division (WI)|
|Career highlights and awards|
He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, but left after two years.
Brandt worked as a photographer who specialized in new-born babies and was employed as a part-time scout for the Los Angeles Rams based on a recommendation by Elroy Hirsch. In 1958, he was hired as a full-time scout by the San Francisco 49ers.
He served as the Dallas Cowboys' chief talent scout since the club's inception in 1960. He had served as a part-time scout for the Los Angeles Rams under General Manager Tex Schramm in the 1950s. When Schramm took command of the newly formed Dallas franchise in 1960, Brandt was one of the first people he hired. Schramm, Brandt and Coach Tom Landry formed the triumvirate which guided the Cowboys for their first 29 years.
- Creating a new scouting and evaluation system for prospects, which would later spread throughout the NFL. In the NFL Films' documentary series Finding Giants, Ernie Accorsi mentioned how then-general manager George Young built the New York Giants scouting process based on the Cowboys system.
- Using computers for scouting and talent evaluations. To achieve this level of automatization, the Cowboys had to systematically define which were the traits, measurable qualities and skills that could be expressed into numbers and formulas in order for a computer to understand them. Different traits were prioritized for different positions.
- Finding potential prospects in other sports such as: Bob Hayes, Cornell Green, Peter Gent, Toni Fritsch, Percy Howard, Ken Johnson, Ron Howard, Wade Manning, Manny Hendrix and Mac Percival. The Cowboys also set up hospitality suites for coaches at the NCAA basketball tournaments.
- Brandt was one of the first talent scouts to look outside of the United States and Canada for potential players. Kicker Toni Fritsch was discovered during a European tour.
- Made unconventional draft choices in lower rounds based on potential, even though at the time it wasn't known if the players would ever be a part of the National Football League. For example: Roger Staubach, Herschel Walker and Chad Hennings.
- The use of psychology tests to identify the mental and personality make-up of prospects.
- Finding players in the undrafted free agent and small college talent pool, such as Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, and Everson Walls.
- Helped to create the NFL Scouting Combine as a centralization of the scouting evaluation process.
Brandt's dismissal from the Cowboys on May 2, 1989 completed a purge that began with Jerry Jones' purchase of the franchise just over nine weeks prior on February 25 and also resulted in Landry's ouster and Schramm's resignation.
After a few years out of football, he returned as a print analyst and draft expert. He currently contributes to NFL.com as a senior analyst and is a major contributor in selecting the Playboy All-American football team. Brandt has also been responsible for inviting collegiate players to the NFL Draft every year. He is a regular on SiriusXM NFL Radio as a commentator on "Late Hits", "The Endzone", and the "SiriusXM NFL Tailgate Show".
He was announced as the 22nd member of the Cowboys' Ring of Honor on November 2, 2018.
- "Brandt has left brand". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "There Are No Holes at the Top". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Finding Giants: NFL scout's life not for the pampered". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Cowboys believe in analytics, but instincts as well". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- The Man Who Devised the Formula to Find NFL Stars
- "Cowboys Have MU's Green thinking football". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Austrian Kicker Off To Big Start With Dallas 11". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "NFL teams put potential stars to the test with exam". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Not easy to trade a veteran". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Brandt Latest to Be Fired in Purge of Cowboys," Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, May 3, 1989. Retrieved August 22, 2018
- "Gil Brandt Amazing Memory". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Former Cowboys honored in Texas Sports Hall of Fame," FOX Sports Southwest, Friday, April 10, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2018
- Eatman, Nick. "Cowboys Adding Gil Brandt to the Ring of Honor". dallascowboys.com. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Former Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt named to 2019 Hall of Fame class