Legendary Dallas Cowboys scouting director Gil Brandt was named to the team’s hallowed Ring of Honor, owner Jerry Jones announced on Friday.
Brandt, 85, becomes the 22nd member of the Ring of Honor.
He will be inducted on Nov. 29 during halftime of the Cowboys game against the New Orleans Saints.
It’s a long overdue honor for Brandt, who is also a contributor finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
“It means everything to me,” Brandt said. “It’s like watching a child grow up. When I first came here we were 0-11-1. We had very few people going to the games. Wasn’t sure we would have a team in two years. What I went through from the beginning to the now is unbelievable.”
Brandt was the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1989 and helped Dallas grow into one of the most powerful and popular sports franchises in America.
He helped build the franchise from its inception into its America’s Team championship legacy with 20 consecutive winning seasons, five Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl titles during that time.
He was part of the three-man triumvirate, who started with the franchise in 1960, and will now join general manager Tex Schramm and coach Tom Landry in the Ring of Honor.
Brandt hopes to join them in the Hall of Fame where he is just as deserving, per Jones.
“Gil doesn’t need any help relative to the Hall of Fame,” Jones said. “That was a wonderful team of people Gil was part of. Him Tex, Tom and the owner Clint (Murchison). They were in sync. Two of them are in the NFL Hall of Fame. It will be completed when Gil gets in. He deserves it because of his innovativeness in his profession. He deserves it because of his tenure, 60 years. He has been in this league since it evolved. That needs to be recognized by the Hall of Fame. Gil gets there period without the ring of the honor. Gill deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame.”
Brandt is considered the godfather of modern scouting, as he pioneered many of the scouting techniques used by NFL teams today.
He was the first one to use computers for scouting and talent evaluations, the first one to use psychological tests to evaluate the mental makeup. Brandt and the Cowboys were the first to scout other sports for talent and the first to look outside of the United States for players.
Brant oversaw the acquisition of 15 who are currently in the Ring of Honor. That list includes two undrafted free agents in safety Cliff Harris and receiver Drew Pearson, a pair of seventh-round selections in tackle Rayfield Wright and receiver Bob Hayes and a 10th round draft choice in quarterback Roger Staubach.
Nine of them were also inducted into the Hall of Fame, beginning with the first pick in 1960, defensive tackle Bob Lilly, to his last first-round pick in 1989, quarterback Troy Aikman.
He brought in 53 players who have a combined 178 Pro Bowl appearances.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has a personal connection with Brandt through his late father Jim, who worked for the franchise for 21 years including stints in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He said no one is more deserving than Brandt and he has the utmost respect for him.
“He’s one of the revolutionary figures in our league and anybody who’s followed football closely understands that, how the Cowboys were built,” Garrett said. “The trio of Tom Landry, Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt is legendary. Incredible model for how you do things. And if you look at the talent that those team acquired through the years, it just seemed like they were ahead of everybody else and there’s a lot of specific detail about the technology they used and how they went about scouting players but his impact was significant on this team and was significant throughout the league in terms of how teams evaluate players, put teams together.
“His impact on stuff like the combine and so many other things that are just a part of what the NFL does now has been significant. So he’s been a great friend to me, to this organization and one of the most impactful guys in this franchise’s history.”