Bill Belichick: Gil Brandt deserves to be Hall of Famer

It's not every day New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick advocates for someone's Hall of Fame worthiness.

Speaking about the success Tom Landry had during his 29-year coaching career in Dallas, Belichick said former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for what he accomplished during the franchise's glory years.

"Looking at Gil Brandt and the job that he did with the personnel, he certainly should be in the Hall of Fame based on his contributions to this game and contributions to the personnel and scouting side of it," Belichick said Monday. "He'd probably be the first guy I would put in there."

Brandt, who has worked as an analyst for NFL.com for more than two decades, has been a candidate for the Hall of Fame's contributor category in the past. Under his tenure as the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel (1960-89), Dallas won two Super Bowl titles, five NFC championships, 13 division titles and posted 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1966-85.

Brandt, 84, was instrumental in developing many of the modern scouting techniques used by NFL teams. He also played a leading role in the creation of the NFL Scouting Combine.

Belichick's public admiration for Brandt's accomplishments comes with the Patriots coach approaching Landry's mark for third-most career wins by a coach. Belichick (269 wins, including playoffs) is one victory away from tying Landry's feat.

Although Brandt won't be part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class, there has been a push by the NFL in recent years to recognize more contributors. Before the selection bylaws changed three years ago, contributors were voted in the same class as modern era players. Next year, two contributors will be nominated as finalists for induction and, starting with the 2020 class, one will be nominated each year moving forward.

Belichick's backing certainly should help Brandt reach the famed halls of Canton someday.