The Dallas Cowboys have added a 17th member to their impressive Hall of Fame fraternity.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed its 2019 enshrinees on Saturday night, adding Gil Brandt and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen to the class as contributors. This year’s full class features Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez, Johnny Robinson, Ty Law, Ed Reed and Kevin Mawae, as well as Brandt and Bowlen.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame defines a contributor as an individual who has made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching. By that measure, Brandt contributed plenty to the game during his 32 years as an NFL scout – 28 of which were spent with the Dallas Cowboys.
Last year, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a contributor. He gave this statement regarding Saturday’s news on Brandt:
“Gil Brandt set the standard for all scouts and personnel executives to follow, and aspire to, in the NFL.
He drafted Hall of Fame players in the first round and in the late rounds and helped build the foundation for the tremendous legacy and success that Cowboys enjoy to this day.
We are so proud of his accomplishments with the organization and just as grateful for what he has done over the course of the last 30 years an ambassador for the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and the game of football.
Gil changed the NFL in the draft room and is more than worthy of this recognition.”
Brandt is revered as the father of modern football scouting, as he was at the forefront of many advancements in the profession that are still used today. He was the first to incorporate computer technology into scouting and talent evaluations, helping the Cowboys automize their preferred qualities and traits into numbers and formulas that could be computed for easier reference.
He was also one of the first scouting figures to use psychology and personality tests to determine the mental makeup of prospective players. In a feat that all NFL draftniks can appreciate, Brandt was also one of the guiding voices in creating the annual NFL Scouting Combine, which has grown from humble beginnings into the must-see event of every NFL offseason.
All of these factors combined to help Brandt, head coach Tom Landry and team president Tex Schramm build the Cowboys into one of the dominant franchises of the 1960s and 1970s. During this time period, Brandt oversaw the drafting of franchise cornerstones like Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Rayfield Wright, Randy White and Tony Dorsett.
Brandt also took unconventional methods to find difference-making players. He was one of the first scouts to look outside of football for prospects, turning track star Bob Hayes and basketball player Cornell Green into Pro Bowl football players.
All told, there are 13 Dallas Cowboys players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brandt had a hand in acquiring nine of them. There are 19 players in the Cowboys’ illustrious Ring of Honor, and Brandt had a hand in acquiring 15 of those.
For those contributions to the organization, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones made Brandt the 22nd member of the Ring of Honor this past November. Now, the Hall has honored him at the highest level possible.
With Brandt as the newest inductee, the Cowboys’ 17 Pro Football Hall of Famers are: Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Tex Schramm, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Troy Aikman, Rayfield Wright, Michael Irvin, Bob Hayes, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Larry Allen, Charles Haley, Jerry Jones and Gil Brandt.
Brandt and the rest of his class will be officially enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, this summer.