IRVING, Texas -- Former Dallas Cowboys coach Dave Campo rejoined
the staff Tuesday, returning to his roots as the secondary coach.
While Campo carries the dubious distinction as the only coach
never to get Dallas into the playoffs, he got that job because of
his success working with the defense.
Having started as a defensive assistant under Jimmy Johnson, he
moved up to secondary coach then became defensive coordinator under
Barry Switzer. He was calling the defensive plays when the Cowboys
won the Super Bowl following the 1995 season.
Campo remained defensive coordinator when Chan Gailey followed
Switzer, then he replaced Gailey in 2000.
Dallas went 5-11 in each of Campo's three seasons, yet he was
somewhat a victim of bad timing -- his first season ended up being
Troy Aikman's last, which then left the Cowboys in dreadful shape
under the salary cap. Ryan Leaf, Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson
were some of his starting quarterbacks. He was replaced by Bill
Parcells after the 2002 season.
Campo spent the next two years as defensive coordinator in
Cleveland and the last three as the secondary coach in
Jacksonville. He was still under contract with the Jaguars, but was
given permission to interview with Dallas, where he still has
"I'm a Cowboy," Campo said. "I'm happy to be back here."
Campo replaces Todd Bowles, one of several assistants brought to
the Cowboys by Parcells who then left to join him in Miami, where
he is the new vice president of football operations.
Coincidentally, Dallas' previous hire was Todd Grantham, Campo's
successor as defensive coordinator in Cleveland.
Dallas is still in need of a linebackers coach. Dom Capers, a
former head coach in Jacksonville and Houston, is among the
Campo spent Tuesday settling into his new office. Actually, it's
his old office, too, the same one he had when he arrived on
Johnson's staff in 1989.
"I looked out the window and it was the same view," Campo
said. "But then I looked into the mirror and I figured out it
wasn't exactly the same. But it was a deja vu kind of thing."
While Campo's return might seem awkward -- putting a former coach
on the defensive staff, while the presumed coach-in-waiting Jason
Garrett guides the offense -- such a move has happened before.
Gunther Cunningham went from defensive coordinator of the Kansas
City Chiefs to their head coach in 1999-2000, and has been back as
defensive coordinator since 2004.