Cowboys hire OC but Garrett still calls shots

Cowboys hire OC but Garrett still calls shots

Published Jan. 12, 2012 6:26 p.m. ET

Jason Garrett lost a job title but kept his grip on the Cowboys' offense Thursday.

Former Oakland Raiders and Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan was named the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

However, Garrett, will still call the plays on offense. Garrett had been the offensive coordinator since 2007 before he was elevated to interim head coach in 2010 and made full-time head coach last season.

Garrett did not address the move, which was acknowledged in a short press release from the Cowboys.

Callahan, who led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXVII, has been the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the New York Jets the last four seasons.

The decision to make Callahan offensive coordinator comes after a season in which Garrett's handling of late-game decisions came under fire. More than one critic floated the theory that coordinating the offense and handling the duties of a head coach are too much for one person.

Garrett also was criticized for allowing quarterback Tony Romo too much leeway to make risky plays early in the season, then criticized for pulling the reins too tight in a loss to New England.

It's not clear whether handing off the offensive coordinator label what's Garrett's idea or whether it came from above.

Owner Jerry Jones has said that Garrett's intellectual capacity is one of his best traits as a coach and that he could easily juggle head coach and coordinator duties. At the same time, Jones had to shoot down suggestions that Garrett's job was in jeopardy after the Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

Callahan replaces longtime assistant Hudson Houck who retired as the offensive line coach. Houck spent two terms with the Cowboys, 1993-2001 and 2008-2011. His best years were when the Cowboys employed massive linemen but lately the team has trended to more mobile blockers.

The Cowboys also replaced another longtime figure, former head coach and defensive backs coach Dave Campo, with Jerome Henderson on Thursday.

Henderson spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, where he worked on the staff of now Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

The performance of the Cowboys' secondary came under fire this season and Campo's contract was allowed to expire. Campo joined the Cowboys' staff in 1989 and was head coach from 2000-2002. He returned to the Cowboys in 2008 after stints with the Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire