Bill Callahan is a name football fans know. Reportedly the successor to venerable Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck (the team has made nothing official), he brings head coaching experience at both the college and professional level.
But having been a head coach will only do so much for him in the role of coordinating a team's offensive line. Even more important when viewing Callahan's credentials may be the job he's done with the New York Jets' front five over the last four seasons. Here is the performance of that Jets O-line under Callahan, by the numbers.
With a combination of Brett Favre, Kellen Clemens, Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell taking snaps at quarterback, New York has taken an average of 32.0 sacks of the last four years. That number would have ranked tied for ninth-best in the NFL in 2011. Sanchez took the most sacks of his career this past season, however, 39.0, the same number allowed by the Cowboys under Houck.
New York also had a down year in the rushing department in 2011, only grinding out 3.8 yards per carry, ranking 30th in the NFL. Still, two Jets linemen made the Pro Bowl, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold. New York also liked the play of guard Brandon Moore.
The Jets had been much better on the ground from 2008-10, averaging 4.7 yards per carry in 2008, then 4.5 in '09, with Thomas Jones doing most of the work, both years. LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene carried the load to the tune of 4.4 yards per carry in 2010.
Callahan had been an offensive line coach in the NFL previously, with Philadelphia from 1995-97. He became offensive coordinator of the Raiders in 1998, and was their head coach in 2002 and 2003.
There has been no indication whether Callahan would also take on the role of Cowboys running game coordinator, which Houck held. The position is responsible for the weekly administrative and game-planning aspects of the ground attack, making time for offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to perform more of the overall managerial duties of a head coach.
The title would likely go to Callahan or running backs coach Skip Peete, who he worked with in Oakland for six years.