CANTON, OHIO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Gil Brandt has been in the NFL so long he scouted Johnny Robinson and after more than a half-century of waiting, both were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday.
Brandt was procuring talent for the Dallas Cowboys in their initial season of 1960 when Robinson came out of LSU as a running back and eventually became a star safety.
Finally, in 2019, they are wearing gold jackets.
“After all this time, I thought I had been forgotten,” Robinson said. “To receive that knock on the door … was surreal to me.”
Brandt paid tribute to his true calling: talent evaluation.
“What you do in securing talent is the lifeblood of football,” he said. “Seeing that player that was something special … or going to a D-3 campus and finding a diamond in the rough. I want all of you to look at my election into the Hall of Fame as a tip of the cap to you.”
For six decades, Brandt has been involved in the sport at a high level, from personnel director with the Cowboys to league consultant to draft guru to broadcaster.
Brandt, who was enshrined as a contributor, developed the Dallas scouting system that emphasized computers far before most other teams; scouted the historically black colleges and small colleges for talent; made signing undrafted free agents a science; and worked with Hall of Famers Tex Schramm, the team president, and coach Tom Landry, to build a dynasty.
Robinson’s induction makes for a half-dozen members of the great Kansas City Chiefs’ defense of the 1960s who have been enshrined. Robinson joins Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas and Curley Culp.
Robinson was passed over six times during the 1980s, but got in as a seniors committee nominee. He’s one of 20 players to play all 10 seasons of the AFL, made 57 interceptions, went to seven Pro Bowls, received all-league recognition five times and was chosen to the AFL’s all-time team.
He mentioned what his father told him before he headed to his first training camp after being the third overall draft choice in the AFL.
“Be a gentleman when you win, be a man when you lose,” Robinson said, “if you lose, be sure that you work harder so it won’t happen again.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)