Somewhere, Tom Landry is smiling. Well, sort of. He can’t be too happy with all the moronic moves made by Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones lately, but it looks as if the man who fired Landry might have actually done something right. On Friday, the Cowboys hire former Cleveland Browns running backs coach Gary Brown to hold the same position in Dallas. Brown brings one heck of a track record with him, which should mean big things for the Cowboys’ running game. But of course, that’s no guarantee with a meddling owner like Jones.
Brown spent the past four seasons in Cleveland, coaching both Peyton Hillis and Trent Richardson to stellar seasons in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Neither player’s number jumped off the page in either season, but their performance on the field in a pathetic offense spoke volumes. If Brown can get that kind of production out of guys like DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar, the Cowboys’ running game might finally be relevant again in 2013.
Felix Jones was not mentioned in the previous sentence because his contract is expiring this year and you can bet he won’t be re-signed. For one, the Cowboys don’t have the cap room for such a move and secondly, they don’t need Jones anymore. Sure, he’s a nice change-of-pace back, but he can’t stay healthy and there’s nothing he can do that Tanner and/or Dunbar can’t.
Brown will prove that by getting more production out of his stable of running backs, which is something former Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete couldn’t do and that’s why he was released this offseason with a year left on his contract. It at least appears as though Dallas finally someone who can actually coach running backs in Brown, whose success with Hillis in 2010 and then Richardson during his rookie campaign last year forecasts big things for Dallas’ backfield in 2013.
Of course, that hinges entirely on the offensive play-calling, which should be better now that Bill Callahan is calling the shots and not Jason Garrett. If the Cowboys run the ball at least 20 times each game, they’ll have a winning season. Period. Garrett never could figure that out, bout hopefully Callahan will. At least now no one will have a sorry running backs coach to blame.