Gil Brandt: PFHOF Class of 2019

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

“If you don’t have good scouts, you’re not going to make much use of the computer.” – Gil Brandt

The Godfather. No, not the movie, the man. Gil Brandt is one of the most revered men in football history, and this week, the Godfather finally is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Brandt was the Vice President of Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys (1960-1988), turning the Cowboys into the most dominant and famous team in the NFL. During his career, Brandt was an innovator in scouting processes for football.

He developed ways to evaluate players that hadn’t been seen before, including the use computers. He also began using psychological testing for players to see how they could perform under pressure.

But it was his insight for who could be a superior player, his understanding of what a player could bring to the table, that was his true talent. He was involved in drafting nine Hall of Fame players.

Current Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett had this to say about Brandt’s talent. “He was so far ahead of his time in terms of how you build a team, how you evaluate players, how you scout. He did so many things 15 or 20 years ahead of everybody else.”

Brandt effected the NFL so deeply, many of his ideas and protocols are still in place today. I spoke with Zig Fracassi, host on SiriusXM NFL Radio, about Brandt and what he had done for the NFL.

“Gil can be considered as a pioneering spirit in the NFL. His, and the Cowboys innovations of using computers as a resource in helping evaluate prospects is something league wide in 2019. Gil was the forefront of bringing athletes in who didn’t necessarily have football backgrounds who made huge contributions to the Cowboys (Pete Gent, Cornell Green, Bob Hayes, etc.) The annual Scouting Combine was essentially a Gil invention. Mr. Brandt’s contributions in the NFL are 60+ years in the making and still going. That is quite a legacy.” – Zig Fracassi

And the fans love him too. His has a very popular show on Sirius XM NFL Radio, bringing logic and insight to fans questions. However it’s the stories, the great stories of past years, fantastic players, crazy trades, and missed opportunities (often on a team’s part) that are what fans most often tune in for.

At 86 years old, it doesn’t look like Gil Brandt has any intention of slowing down, and we are all the better for it.

Congratulations, Mr. Brandt!

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG

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