Pro Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, credited for turning the Dallas Cowboys expansion franchise into 'America's Team,' has died at the age of 91, owner Jerry Jones announced in a statement shared on the team's official website.
"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," Jones said. "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."
Brandt served as the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel from 1960 to 1988, beginning with the franchise's inaugural season. The longtime executive was credited for the introduction of computers in scouting in evaluation, the selections of Roger Staubach and Herschel Walker in the draft and signing Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris and Everson Walls as undrafted free agents.
Brandt initially worked as a part-time scout for the Los Angeles Rams before being hired by the San Francisco 49ers as a full-time executive in 1958.