The Dallas Cowboys hired Stephen Brown as an offensive assistant for the 2016 season. Brown is in his second stint with an NFL team, and will work with Coach Gary Brown and the running backs in the coordination of the running game, while also serving as a point person for Head Coach Jason Garrett on research projects and day-to-day operations.
He will have an opportunity to work with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, running back Ezekiel Elliott in an effort to revive a Cowboys ground attack that finished second in the league and led the team to a Division Crown in 2014, but fell to ninth in 2015. Joining Elliott in the backfield is free agent addition Alfred Morris, who came to Dallas after accumulating the second-highest rushing total in the NFL over the past four seasons, finishing behind only Adrian Peterson (4,923) with 4,713 yards from 2012-15. They join incumbent running backs Darren McFadden, who led the Cowboys with 1,089 rushing yards in 2015, Lance Dunbar and Rod Smith on an offense that strives to be greatly improved in 2016.
Prior to that, Brown spent two seasons (2013-14) with the Buffalo Bills as the assistant to the head coach/special teams assistant. Brown coordinated all operational aspects for players and coaches, and was included in multiple aspects of game management decisions. The special teams units he worked with in 2014 finished the year second in the NFL and first in the AFC, based on Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin’s rankings, which saw Buffalo make the biggest improvement, jumping up from 31st in 2013. Kicker Dan Carpenter finished second with a career-best 34 made field goals, and punter Colton Schmidt dropped 31 punts inside the 20-yard line, tied for fourth in the league. Additionally, the kickoff and punt coverage units excelled under Brown’s guidance. The kickoff team held opponents to an average start position of the 20.7 yard-line, fifth in the NFL, and the punt coverage unit harangued opponents into a 6.5-yard average on 38 returns, fourth overall in 2014.
He served on the coaching staff at Syracuse University as a quality control coach and director of recruiting, providing statistical analysis on upcoming opponents and overseeing all aspects of recruiting in his four seasons (2009-12) with the Orange. Brown played a part in turning the program around over his four seasons with the team, leading to the first winning season since 2001, reaching seven wins in 2010, and bowl game victories in the Pinstripe Bowl twice (2010, 2012). On game day he coordinated with the defensive coaching staff on potential in-game adjustments and provided information to the head coach on various game management situations.
Brown got his start in the coaching profession as a student assistant at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee, under Head Coach Phillip Fulmer. He worked three seasons (2006-08) for the Volunteers football squad, breaking down film and assisting with the recruiting process and everyday operations.
Brown earned his degree in Sport Management from the University of Tennessee and is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina.