Staff Hires Announced; Callahan Gets OC Title


IRVING, Texas-The Cowboys on Thursday announced the expected hirings of offensive line coach Bill Callahan and secondary coach Jerome Henderson.

Callahan's title also includes offensive coordinator, though there is no indication yet that head coach Jason Garrett will relinquish significant play-calling influence. Tight ends coach John Garrett and newly-retired offensive line coach Hudson Houck split pass-and-run coordinator titles last year, but their duties involved mostly game-planning during the week.

Callahan has no direct ties to Garrett, but both previously worked with Jon Gruden - Callahan as the Raiders' offensive coordinator from 1998-2001 and Garrett as the Buccaneers' backup quarterback under Gruden in 2004.

Henderson, an eight-year veteran defensive back (1991-98) spent the last three seasons as the Browns' defensive backs coach, including 2009 and 2010 under Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Henderson is expected to replace Dave Campo, who has held the title since 2008 and previously from 1989-94. Fellow Cowboys secondary coach Brett Maxie has been linked to interest from the Titans regarding a staff position.

The Cowboys finished 26th (243.2) and 23rd (244.1) in pass defense in 2010 and 2011, respectively. This season the defense allowed 57 pass plays of 20 yards or more, up from last season's total of 56.

"I think he is going to be a really nice coach for us," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said of Henderson on 1310-AM in Dallas. "Fans, anybody could see that we have struggled, in particular on the back end of our defense. We have to improve ourselves. That makes it two years running now we have struggled. We have to get better back there."

Callahan has head coaching experience at Nebraska (2004-07) and the Raiders (2002-03), where he led Oakland to a Super Bowl berth in his first season. He has also coached offensive line for the Eagles (1995-97) and most recently the Jets (2008-11).

In his four seasons with the Jets, Callahan coached three players along the offensive line to nine combined Pro Bowl appearances (Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca and D'Brickashaw Ferguson) and one player to AP All-Pro honors (Mangold - 2009, 2010).

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