Cowboys Make Staff Changes, As Dave Campo Is Out And Bill Callahan Is In
The Dallas Cowboys have made two major coaching staff changes in quick succession. Jerome Henderson Will replace Dave Campo as defensive secondary coach, while Bill Callahan is the new offensive line coach. Callahan takes over for Hudson Houck, who is retiring.
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With the hiring of Joe Baker as an assistant secondary coach Monday, the Dallas Cowboys have completed a re-shuffling of their defensive coaching staff after last season's disappointing finish which saw their secondary implode in spectacular fashion.
A former college teammate of Jason Garrett at Princeton, Baker has been an NFL assistant for four different teams in the last 16 seasons, spending the last three years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He'll be working under Jerome Henderson, whom the Cowboys hired as a secondary coach to take over for long-time assistant Dave Campo, who joined Charlie Weis' staff at Kansas earlier in the off-season.
Henderson worked under Rob Ryan in Cleveland, and his hiring indicates the bombastic defensive coordinator has been given a bigger voice in how the team builds its defense under Garrett, a more offensive-minded coach who has been criticized for not giving up his play-calling duties since becoming head coach in the middle of the 2010 season.
"A lot of this went into the decision-making factor to come here. I looked at the opportunity. Hey, I've been part of a Super Bowl team but didn't have a chance to win a world championship. We came close, but didn't do well on that particular day. This team has a lot of those ingredients that are there, that can make this team great."
Being the offensive coordinator Callahan is saying all the right things about the talent the Cowboys have, and he also went on to praise the playmakers on the offensive side of the ball in Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. However, Callahan is also the offensive line coach and that position is one part of the offense that needs a lot of help if the Cowboys want to take the next step.
Not that the Cowboys do not need any more pressure than they normally have, Callahan now needs to back up his talk about how talented the offense he is now in charge off.
"It’s a very important position," Garrett said. "As we all know you want to make sure you allocate the resources necessary to that spot. Jon Kitna was great for us the last three years.
"Stephen McGee has gotten some real good experience the last couple of years, playing in games and we’ll continue to evaluate his progress. We like what he’s done but it’s an important decision."
Romo started all 16 games for the Cowboys this season but was knocked out of the game in Week 16 against the Eagles after throwing just two passes. McGee came in to replace Romo and completed 24 of 38 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 83.4. The Cowboys lost that game 20-7.
Free agency won't start until mid-March so Garrett and the Cowboys have some time to think about it. For more updates on the Cowboys, head over to Blogging The Boys.
Brett Maxie has accepted a job as Tennessee Titans defensive backs coach.
Maxie worked with Dave Campo in coaching the Cowboys’ defensive backs last season and was wanted by the Cowboys to return in a similar role, pairing with new DB coach Jerome Henderson. The Titans offered him the lead job last week and, after spending the weekend considering his options, Maxie went for the semi-promotion.
The move means that the entire defensive staff will essentially be Rob Ryan disciples, something that he had reportedly been pushing for since the end of the season. Maxie joins Mike Munchak’s defensive staff, which is led by fellow former DB Jerry Gray and veteran coach Dave McGinnis.
On the heels of Dave Campo’s confirmation that he would not be back, he Dallas Cowboys announced several coaching moves late Tuesday. The club announced that offensive line coach Hudson Houck will retire after 29 years in the NFL and a coaching career that dates back to the ’60s.
Houck was with Dallas for nine years from 1993-2001, winning two Super Bowls. He returned to Jason Garrett’s staff in 2008 to replace Tony Sparano. He participated in the decision to draft Tyron Smith high in the first round last April and coached the rookie to a quality season, but the rest of the line – including 2010 standout Doug Free – struggled.
Houck will be replaced by former Raiders and University of Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan. He led Oakland to the Super Bowl in 2002, his first season has head coach after four as offensive coordinator. He has spent the past four years as assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the New York Jets. His experience as a play-caller could come in handy if Garrett decides to focus more on his head coaching duties during the season.
The Cowboys also made a defensive secondary hire to replace Dave Campo, as Jerome Henderson will reportedly join the club in the same role. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan got his wish in replacing Campo with one of “his” guys. Henderson coached under Ryan in Cleveland in 2009 and 2010 and was the secondary coach for the Jets in 2008.
Henderson, 42, was a second round pick in 1991 and played with the Patriots, Bills, Eagles and Jets in an eight-year NFL career. The Cowboys would apparently like to retain defensive secondary assistant Brett Maxie, but he’s out of a contract and has an interview lined up with Tennessee this week.