The MMQB published the best essays here, and one of the Brandt essays made the cut. Sadly, and shamefully, it wasn't mine.
Yup, I took the time to submit an essay. Brandt may never make it to the Hall -- as an inductee, at least -- but he deserves to be recognized for his tremendous achievements and contributions. Not only to the Dallas Cowboys but to the National Football League as a whole.
So anyway, nothing against Henry Martinez of Ennis, Texas (I'm glad he and I share our affinity for Gil), but I'm just a little bummed MMQB didn't run my essay.
So, of course, I'm happy to share it with you here...
The case for Gil Brandt
Die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans know and appreciate Gil Brandt for his role as the architect of what became known as America’s Team. But Brandt did more than just scout and draft the likes of Roger Staubach and Bob Hayes and Randy White. As a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame under the “Contributor” category, Brandt fits that description better than anyone.
Owners and GMs “contribute” to the game in fairly specific ways, but Brandt blazed a path that did not exist before he joined the Cowboys in 1960. The scouting methods and strategies that he implemented have become commonplace throughout the NFL.
Whether it was paying closer attention to the small schools and historically black colleges, recognizing that track stars and basketball players might succeed playing football, projecting the ability of a player to switch positions, or being the first NFL organization to incorporate the use of computers into its scouting process, Brandt was ahead of his time.
Brandt was an important part of the triumvirate, along with Tom Landry and Tex Schramm, that made the Cowboys what they were. Landry and Schramm are both in the Hall. Brandt’s relevancy cannot be denied. Even after his days with the Cowboys, the NFL has employed him to identify the college prospects they invite to New York for the draft every year.
Can the history of the NFL be written without Gil Brandt? Probably, but it would be very different, in many ways.