Dallas Cowboys' executive Gil Brandt dies at 91

By 
 September 1, 2023

Gil Brandt, the renowned Dallas Cowboys executive, has passed away at the age of 91. 

The news of Brandt's passing was shared by his former National Football League (NFL) team.

"The Dallas Cowboys mourn the loss of former executive Gil Brandt who passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday morning," the team wrote.

At the time of this writing, no further information has been released about Brandt's passing.

Who was Gil Brandt?

Brandt is revered in the NFL for two closely related reasons: his prodigious scouting abilities and his use of those abilities to turn the Cowboys into a dominant team.

NFL reporter Judy Battista explains:

Brandt knew football -- more specifically, what made good football players, how to evaluate them, and how they could fit into a roster. He knew all of that so well that he became not only one of the preeminent talent evaluators of his era while building the Dallas Cowboys team that won two Super Bowls in the 1970s, but also the godfather of modern scouting and the use of data in personnel evaluation.

Brandt spent six decades in the NFL as an executive. Roughly half of those years were with the Cowboys.

CNN reports:

With Brandt behind the scenes, Dallas appeared in five championship games, winning Super Bowls VI and XII. The team dominated between 1966-1985, producing 20 consecutive winning seasons while adopting the nickname “America’s Team.”

Brandt was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2019.

"He . . . set the standard for excellence"

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has released a statement in which he honored Brandt.

Jones wrote:

We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Gil Brandt -- a true icon and pioneer of our sport. 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. 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.

Jones went on to say that Brandt "was an innovator and set the standard for excellence in player acquisition."

After expanding on that point, Jones continued:

Gil was as good a storyteller as it gets, with a memory as sharp as a tack. His dedication to, and passion for, this game left a lasting impact on generations of Hall of Fame players and coaches. There are very few people that have been able to have the kind of generational impact that he did. Gil was as dedicated to growing this league and sport as anyone ever was, and we are all grateful and better for it.

"Our hearts go out to Gil's wife, Sara, his son, Hunter, and all of Gil's family and friends," Jones concluded.

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