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Lessons Learned from Hall of Famer, Gil Brandt

Jacob Ray Youth & Education Manager, Pro Football Hall of Fame Published 27 Feb 2020

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will once again offer its highly popular Heart of a Hall of Famer series, powered by Extreme Networks, on Wednesday, February 26th at 1:30PM ET with Gold Jacket and Cowboys’ Front Office Great Gil Brandt. The program provides students the opportunity to learn first-hand what it took beyond athletic ability to achieve success on and off the field.

Gil Brandt was a highly regarded personnel administrator during his 29-year career with the Dallas Cowboys (1960-1988). Brandt, the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys, helped Dallas grow into one of the most powerful and popular sports franchises in America. His innovative management and personnel systems are standard operating procedure today.

Brandt oversaw the drafting of nine Cowboys’ players who are now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame beginning with Dallas’s first ever pick in 1960, defensive tackle Bob Lilly, and culminating with his final first-round pick in 1989, quarterback Troy Aikman. That list also includes a pair of seventh-round selections in tackle Rayfield Wright and receiver Bob Hayes and a 10th round draft choice in quarterback Roger Staubach.

Brandt was the first one to use computers for scouting and talent evaluations, the first one to use psychological tests to evaluate the mental makeup under pressure. It was the way he and the Cowboys graded college prospects that led to building the NFL Scouting Combine to streamline the evaluation process. 

Any school can connect to the Heart of a Hall of Famer program via a PC/MAC/IOS/Android device or a traditional video conferencing system. There are limited interactive and video conferencing system spots are available and the first 7 schools to register will receive those spots. If you register and are not one of the first 7 schools, you can still be part of the program – just as a “view only” school. You will still be able to access the chat function to possibly ask Mr. Slater a question. Session is available to grades 4th-12th and is free of charge, thanks to our sponsors at Extreme Networks! For more information or to register, please contact our Education Department at or visit

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