The organization didn't want Henderson to leave but when his contract ended following the 2011 season, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan asked the front office to make the move.
Henderson takes over for Dave Campo, who didn't receive a new contract.
It was not the first time Ryan tried to get Henderson. The Cowboys tried to interview Henderson last summer for the secondary job but the Browns wouldn't give permission.
When Henderson's contract ended, the Cowboys moved quickly. Sometimes, it's all about timing.
"It was still a tough decision because anytime you invest in young men and you invest in a program you want to see that to fruition," Henderson said. "You build those bonds with those players and it's not easy to leave. When I looked at this opportunity here, it was one I couldn't pass up."
It's clear Ryan wants to bring in coaches for the defense whom he's familiar with. When Ryan left Cleveland he brought Matt Eberflus (linebackers) and Ben Bloom (defensive quality control/linebackers) with him. Brian Baker, the defensive line coach, is highly thought of by head coach Jason Garrett and developed into a good fit.
Campo and safety coach Brett Maxie had a year left on their contracts and the Cowboys tried to replace Campo last season. The franchise wanted to interview then-Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton, but he took a job as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator.
After a meeting with Garrett when the season ended, Campo was told he would not be welcomed back, but Maxie was offered a new contract. Maxie, however, decided to become the secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans.
Garrett said the team has plans to hire an assistant secondary coach in the next couple of weeks.