Success in the NFL begins and ends with the NFL draft

The drafting of Gil Brandt put the Cowboys in position to become America's Team.


(Photo of Gil Brandt, above left, courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)

Talk of Fame Network

Success in the NFL begins and ends with the NFL draft.

Stopping by the Talk of Fame Network this weekend is one of the best drafters in NFL history -- Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys into America’s Team with some creative roster building. The Cowboys were the first team to subscribe to the “best athlete available” drafting philosophy in the 1960's and as a result, the Cowboys would use picks on elite basketball players (Pat Riley, Lou Hudson), baseball players (Merv Rettenmund), track stars (Carl Lewis), and players with looming military commitments (Roger Staubach, Chad Hennings).

Riley, Hudson, Rettenmund and Lewis all went professional in their traditional sport of choice, but both Staubach and Hennings returned from those commitments to become contributing members of Super Bowl championship teams. Staubach, in fact, carved out a place for himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. College basketball players Pete Gent, Cornell Green and Percy Howard did sign with Dallas and did go on to go play for the Cowboys. Green, in fact, became a five-time Pro Bowl defensive back.

Brandt, a candidate for the Hall of Fame in the new contributor category, regales hosts Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge with some of his drafting tales during the interview and also explains drafting strategies. Ron Borges, the third member of the Talk of Fame Network, was on vacation this week.

Judge also states the Hall of Fame case of former Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs halfback Abner Haynes and Gosselin explains why the salary cap has become the worst enemy of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Hall of Fame voters Mark Craig (Minnesota) and Alex Marvez (Florida) also visit the show to weigh in on the Class of 2015 and the prospects for the Class of 2016.