Cowboys' Britt Brown honored

INDIANAPOLIS – Dallas Cowboys associate athletic trainer Britt Brown was named the winner of the NFC’s assistant trainer of the year award, given out by the league’s athletic trainers.

Head athletic trainer Jim Maurer presented Brown, who has been with the team for 17 years, the award at the NFL scouting combine. The award takes into account the athletic trainer’s work and his contributions to the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. Since 1995, Brown has coordinated the PFATS Ethnic Minority Scholarship.

“We have a great staff and so for me to win that, there’s so many guys that deserve the award that it easily could’ve done to (assistant athletic trainer Greg Gaither) too,” Brown said. “It’s a staff thing I feel like.”

Brown said the award did not have to do with the season. The Cowboys had a number of injuries in 2012 that led to 11 guys being placed on injured reserve, including five defensive starters. Jay Ratliff had late-season sports hernia surgery and was not placed on injured reserve. Nose tackle Josh Brent finished the year on the non-football injury list.

Brown serves as the Cowboys’ director of rehabilitation and the players often joke that a session with Brown is worse than practicing.

“A love-hate relationship? It is,” Brown joked. “But I think ultimately they feel like I’m taking care of them because I’ve got their best interests. Like it or not they have to go through me to get back to practice. If I’m not looking out for them and requiring them to prove to me they’re OK, they’ll just get thrown back out there. Guys know in order to get back to practice they have to show they can do it. I think they feel like there’s checks and balance there.”