Gary Brown will begin his ninth year as an NFL coach and his fifth season with the Dallas Cowboys after he became the running backs coach on February 8, 2013. Brown came to Dallas after spending four seasons in the same capacity with the Cleveland Browns. In every seasons since his arrival in Dallas, the club has averaged at least 4.5 yards- per-carry - the longest streak in team history. In each of the last three seasons, the club has finished in the top-10 in rushing yards, including finishing second twice (2014 and 2016).
The 2016 season was a success for Brown as the back field was headlined by fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott. Under Brown’s watch, Elliott became the fifth rookie since the NFL merger to win the NFL’s rushing title with 1,631 yards - third by a rookie in NFL history - on 322 carries and 15 touchdowns. He also established the most 100-yard rushing games (7) by a rookie in team history. His 1,994 yards from scrimmage were third by a rookie in NFL history. Elliott became the fourth rookie running back in franchise his- tory to be named to the Pro Bowl, and only the fourth rookie - second running back - to be named All-Pro in team history, while also earning FedEx Ground Player of the Year honors. It was also the fourth consecutive year that Dallas had a rusher over 1,000 yards - third-longest streak in team history - and it was the first time the club had three different rushers top 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons - DeMarco Murray, 2014; Darren McFadden, 2015 and Elliott, 2016.
In 2015 Brown was charged with the challenge of replacing the production of 2014 NFL rushing champ Murray, who departed via free agency. The response at the position included a collection of runners who gave Dallas a top-10 rushing attack, by averaging 118.1 yards-per-game (ninth). Veteran free agent signee McFadden began the year as a backup to Joseph Randle, but took control as the team’s starting running back following a 152-yard performance at
the N.Y. Giants (10/25). From that game through the final 11 weeks of the season, his 960 rushing yards were third by an NFL rusher during that period. Mc- Fadden finished the year with 1,089 yards - his second career 1,000-yard season - on a career-high 239 carries (4.6 avg.) with three touchdowns. It marked the third consecutive season that Dallas boasted a 1,000-yard rusher.
The Dallas Cowboys rushing offense in 2014 finished second in the league with 2,354 yards - the most since rushing for 2,711 in 1981. The Cowboys rushing attack was led by the league’s leading running back, Murray, who rushed for a club-record 1,845 yards on 392 carries (4.7) and 13 touchdowns and took home 2014 Offensive Player of the Year honors. It was the first time a Cowboy won the NFL rushing title since Emmitt Smith (1,773) in 1995. Brown’s workhorse in the back field also established a league record after rushing for at least 100 yards in each of the season’s first eight games. For the year, Murray had 12 100-yard performances to set a franchise high. Murray also caught a career-high 57 passes to give him 449 touches on the year - tops in team history and sixth in NFL history.
The 2013 season saw Murray total 1,471 scrim- mage yards, 1,121 rushing yards, nine rushing touch- downs, 10 total touchdowns and a 5.2-yard average under Brown’s tutelage, earning his first Pro Bowl selection. It marked the first time that the Cowboys offense featured a 1,000-yard rusher since the 2006 season and the first Pro Bowl selection at the running back position since 2007. Dallas also received significant contributions from second-year running back Lance Dunbar and rookie Randle, who accounted for 434 yards of total offense and two touchdowns combined.
In Cleveland in 2012, Brown worked with rookie Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the highest pick Cleveland had ever used on a running back. Richardson finished the season with 1,317 yards from scrimmage, 950 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 12 total touchdowns and 72 points, all Browns rookie records.
The Browns started three different players at running back in 2011. This included four starts by Chris Ogbonnaya, who led the team in rushing five times on the year and finished with a 4.6-yard average (73- 334) - the highest figure for a Brown with more than 70 rushing attempts since Eric Metcalf put together a 4.7 mark (129-611) in 1993.
In 2010 Brown oversaw a back field led by Peyton Hillis, who joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly as the only Browns to record 11-or-more rushing touchdowns in a single-season. Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards, seventh in the AFC and 11th in the NFL.
In Brown’s first season tutoring the team’s running backs, Jerome Harrison led the club with 862 rushing yards after he had amassed 448 yards in his first three NFL seasons combined. His total included a Browns single-game record 286 yards at Kansas City (12/20), as he snapped Jim Brown’s previous club mark of 237, which he reached twice.
Prior to joining Cleveland, Brown spent six years coaching on the collegiate level. He spent 2008 as the running backs coach at Rutgers University, where he helped the Scarlet Knights to an 8-5 mark and a victory in the Papajohns.com Bowl. Browns running backs combined for 1,474 rushing yards, a 4.9-yard average and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2008.
Brown spent two seasons (2006-07) as offensive coordinator at Susquehanna University, where in 2007, sophomore running back Dave Paveletz produced the second-highest single-season rushing total in program history.
Brown started coaching immediately following an eight-year NFL career as a player when he served as the offensive coordinator at Williamsport (Pa.) Area High School from 2000-02. He then broke into the college ranks as the running backs coach at Ly- coming College (2003-05).
In addition to his collegiate positions, Brown also helped coach running backs at N.Y. Giants training camp in 2005, then worked with the Green Bay Packers (2006) and Carolina Panthers (2007) as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
Brown enjoyed a four-year career at Penn State (1987-90), where as a sophomore, he led the Nittany Lions in rushing yards with 689 yards and six touch- downs on 136 carries (5.1 avg.)
A native of Williamsport, Pa., Brown played eight seasons in the NFL (1991-95, 1997-99) after being selected in the eighth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. In his career, he played for the Oilers (1991-95), Chargers (1997) and Giants (1998-99). During that time he ran for 4,300 yards and 21 touchdowns on 1,023 carries and caught 84 passes for 631 yards and three scores in 99 games. He rushed for 1,000 yards twice, including 1,002 in 1993 and 1,063 yards in 1998. His feat in 1993 was accomplished while playing in just eight games.
Brown went on to earn his degree in sports ad- ministration from Lock Haven University in 2005. He and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Malena and Dorianna, and a son, Tre