Callahan replaces Cowboys assistant Houck

Callahan replaces Cowboys assistant Houck

Published Jan. 11, 2012 9:24 a.m. ET

After 29 years in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck has decided to step away from football. The 69-year-old recently declared his retirement, and the Cowboys are hiring former Oakland Raiders and University of Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan as his replacement, according to reports.

Callahan was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach the past four seasons for the New York Jets.

According to, Callahan's contract with the Jets expired at the end of the year but the franchise had hopes of retaining him. There were also discussions about possibly making Callahan the Jets' offensive coordinator if Brian Schottenheimer, New York's current offensive coordinator, did not return. Schottenheimer resigned Tuesday.

From 2002-03, Callahan coached the Raiders to a 15-17 record, including a trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Before joining the Jets, he led the Cornhuskers to a 27-22 mark from 2004-07.

Houck, who also coached with the Rams, Seahawks, Chargers and Dolphins, was faced with a difficult task entering the 2011 season. The Cowboys released veterans Marc Colombo, Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis before the season started, leaving Houck to develop several inexperienced replacements.

"The guys played very hard," Houck told The Dallas Morning News. "They played as hard as possibly as they could play. I was happy with that."

Houck added that he expects improvement from the Cowboys up front, noting that left tackle Doug Free will get "better" and rookie right tackle Tyron Smith is "one of the best players at this stage I have been around."
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