FRISCO, Texas -- Gary Brown is expected to return as Dallas Cowboys running backs coach, according to sources.
He has overseen the development of DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing in 2014 and 2016. Brown helped Murray, who was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and ’14, and Elliott, who was named a first-team All Pro in 2016, become smarter running backs and identify defensive fronts to improve their ability to hit the hole in the zone running scheme.
But Brown’s work extends beyond those two. In 2015, Darren McFadden finished fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,089 yards despite not becoming the lead back until the sixth game of the season. With Elliott suspended for six games in 2017, the Cowboys still managed to run the ball effectively with Alfred Morris and Rod Smith.
Smith’s development as a solid third-down back, as well as Keith Smith's seamless transition from linebacker to fullback two years ago also speaks well on Brown’s coaching ability.
Brown is the first coach with an expiring contract to remain with the Cowboys. The Cowboys would also like passing game coordinator and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus and safeties coach Greg Jackson to return. Eberflus could be a defensive coordinator depending on how some head coaching vacancies are filled, but it is also possible he could return to the Cowboys with an expanded role.
There have been six changes on Jason Garrett’s staff so far with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia (Oakland), offensive line coach Frank Pollack (Cincinnati Bengals), quarterbacks coach Derek Dooley (Missouri offensive coordinator), quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, secondary coach Joe Baker and tight ends coach Steve Loney not returning.
The Cowboys have interviewed long-time Cincinnati offensive line coach Paul Alexander and Indianapolis Colts receivers coach Sanjay Lal.