© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's been round after round of solemn NFL news over the past few days. From the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins at 24 to the passing of Hall of Fame lineman Rayfield Wright, the league mourns heavily but without respite, now with the news of the death of Gary Brown. Brown, 52, died on Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in hospice care -- where he'd been for the past several weeks due to increasing health issues stemming from his longtime battle with cancer.

His fight against the terminal illness took a significant turn for the worse not long after his departure from the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, where he had served as running backs coach for the previous seven seasons. 

Team owner Jerry Jones issued a heartfelt statement following the news.

"Gary Brown had a big heart partnered with a big smile and a big personality," Jones said. "His energy and spirit were infectious. He lit up every room he walked into and touched the lives of those who knew him in such a positive way. Everyone who knew him, loved him. He meant so much to the players he coached and the coaches he coached with. 

"His love for family, football and life was evident each day. He continued to fight, and he never gave up. My family and the Dallas Cowboys family are heartbroken, and our love and support are with his wife, Kim, his daughters, Malena and Dorianna, and his son, Tre."

An outpouring of love flowed onto social media after Brown's passing, from both NFL and collegiate players (and more) who had the pleasure of crossing his path. A former running back himself, Brown entered the NFL as the eighth-round pick of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans organization and spent five seasons with the club before landing with the New York Giants by way of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers

He logged a 1,000-year season with Big Blue in 1998 before eventually heading to the coaching ranks in the early 2000s -- working his way up from a collegiate assistant to that of RBs coach for the Cleveland Browns.

He'd spend four seasons in Cleveland before being hired on as RBs coach for the Cowboys in 2013, where he was the lead maestro in helping DeMarco Murray to career-best seasons as well as fourth-overall pick Ezekiel Elliott burst onto the NFL scene in 2016, along with a resurgence for players like Darren McFadden

"Great Father, husband, coach, and mentor," said Murray of Brown's passing, via Twitter. "Appreciate you and your family more than anything GB … Thank you for teaching me the way on the field and in life. Appreciate you Gary Brown."

Brown returned to coaching in 2021, despite his health issues, as running backs coach for the University of Wisconsin -- a lifelong, impact footballer who will be remembered for so much more.