"We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Gil Brandt – a true icon and pioneer of our sport," Jones said in a statement. "Gil was at the very core of the early success of the Dallas Cowboys and continued to serve as a great ambassador for the organization for decades beyond that."
Brandt joined the Cowboys in their inaugural season in 1960 -- and helped the team select its first-ever draft pick ... Hall of Famer Bob Lilly.
"His dedication to, and passion for, this game left a lasting impact on generations of Hall of Fame players and coaches," Jones said. "There are very few people that have been able to have the kind of generational impact that he did. Gil was as dedicated to growing this league and sport as anyone ever was, and we are all grateful and better for it."