in 14 years. Come on, he's Italian, family is family - all strong enough lure to leave his former linebacker turned head coach Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville where he was assistant head coach and living on the Atlantic Coast.
Just, by the way, to become a mere secondary coach again, completing a huge 20-year NFL cycle in 2008, his own version of professional ashes to ashes this lentil season. And after seeing him the other day for the first time since he's been back, Campo couldn't be happier. He's almost giddy to be back working in the office where he initially resided out at The Ranch.
So you think he might be beholding to Phillips for facilitating this move? And he's already made it plain to Stewart he is not here to breath down the coordinator's neck. Hey, you can't make this kind of stuff up.
OK, Grantham is hired as the defensive line coach. He's a former NFL coordinator. But he also had worked with Stewart when both were with the Houston Texans. And as it turns out, Campo knew Grantham, since the Browns assistant replaced Campo as the Cleveland defensive coordinator in 2005. Campo said he spent quite a bit of time with Grantham during the transition.
Now that's two former defensive coordinators working as position coaches.
Then arrives Reggie Herring, the Arkansas Razorbacks' defensive coordinator the past three years and chosen as the Texas A&M coordinator about a month ago. That makes three coordinators at some level now, not to mention Stewart with a year under his belt and Phillips with 20 NFL coordinating years.
Herring is the linebackers coach. Herring once worked as a Jimmy Johnson assistant at Oklahoma State. Campo knew of him, and you can bet so did Jones because of Herrings' Arkansas ties. But Stewart knew of him, too, the two working together for two seasons in Houston (2002-03), as did Grantham. Phillips liked what he saw.
Thus, the making of a coaching staff, and maybe the best part, no real strangers since everyone at least knew somebody before they got here. That makes for a good working environment, and gosh knows that's important when you spend like 16 hours a day together during the season.
Also, loyalty to the head coach and the coordinators has never been this strong in quite some time. There should not be a disgruntled assistant because he was passed over for this promotion or not allowed to leave for that promotion. No one should wonder if they really are wanted, since the head coach's fingerprints can be seen on every hire. No animosity or jealousy.
Hey, even strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek's contract had expired, but Phillips welcomed him back, too, and come to think of it, he's no stranger to Campo, Houck, Garrett and Wilson, and maybe even Herring since he was at Oklahoma when Reggie was at Okie State.
And wait, the two quality control assistants? Of course Dat Nguyen is the former Cowboys linebacker, and he played here when Campo, Houck, Wilson and Juraszek were Cowboys coaches and with Garrett when he was the backup quarterback. And Wes Phillips, come on, he knows the head coach pretty well.
Oh, one more thing before we start the weekend. If Brett Maxie takes the job as assistant secondary coach, he played for Phillips one year (1985) in New Orleans, his first year in the NFL, and is from Dallas. And that would get this coaching staff back to where it once was, since until last season the Cowboys had been employing two secondary assistants, one normally taking care of the corners and the other the safeties or the nickel defenses. Remember, that's how Campo and Mike Zimmer began their Cowboys association.
Now who was saying a couple of weeks ago Jones was hiring a coaching staff for Garrett to take over as head coach in 2009? Huh? Man, some people.
So what appeared to be a negative with all these assistants leaving, might turn into somewhat of a positive, actually increasing the "family" (i.e. familiarity) aspect on this coaching staff. And not saying there was any disloyalty among the guys leaving, but the loyalty factor definitely goes up, too.
And in a few cases, a new voice in the position meeting rooms is not a bad thing. Sometimes assistants can become too chummy with the players, since