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Former Cowboys director of player personnel and NFL scouting innovator Gil Brandt has died at the age of 91.

According to, Brandt served as the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Brandt first broke into scouting working part-time for the Los Angeles Rams. In 1958, Brandt got his first full-time opportunity with the San Francisco 49ers before making the move to Dallas to take a job as the chief talent scout with the Cowboys upon the franchise’s inception in 1960.

Brandt helped discover numerous star players who contributed to Super Bowl titles and had a hand in a number of innovations that still impact the way the league scouts incoming talent.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a statement remembering Brandt’s contributions to the team and the sport.

“We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Gil Brandt – a true icon and pioneer of our sport,” Jones said. “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, which rightfully earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame where his legacy will be celebrated forever. He was an innovator and set the standard for excellence in player acquisition. From the creation of the NFL Combine to revolutionizing the NFL Draft, Gil finished his over six-decade NFL career with an eye towards the future of the league and teaching fans about the sport he loved as a radio broadcaster. 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.”

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