Jerome Henderson a 'smart' addition to Cowboys' secondary

Posted Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys' porous pass defense should receive a much-needed boost from the addition of secondary coach Jerome Henderson.

The Cowboys gave up the second-most passing yards in team history in 2011, one year after setting a club record for passing touchdowns allowed.

"I think he is going to be a really nice coach for us," Jones said Thursday during a radio interview on The Ticket (1310 AM). "Fans, anybody could see that we have struggled, in particular on the back end of our defense."

Henderson, 42, who coached the Browns' secondary the past three seasons, will replace Dave Campo, whose contract was not renewed.

The Cowboys made the hiring of Henderson and Bill Callahan official on Thursday.

Callahan will serve as the team's offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. However, coach Jason Garrett will continue to call plays.

Henderson will be reunited with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who led the Browns' defense in 2009 and 2010 before coming to Dallas in 2011.

The move meets the approval of Cowboys safety Abe Elam, who played four seasons under Henderson with the New York Jets and Browns before signing with the Cowboys in 2011.

Henderson began his coaching career with the Jets in 2007 and followed then-coach Eric Mangini to the Browns in 2009.

"He's very smart and knowledgeable," Elam said.

The Cowboys might also lose secondary coach Brett Maxie. Maxie interviewed with the Tennessee Titans this week.

Kitna set to retire

Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna has informed the team he will retire, a move that was expected after he went on injured reserve Dec. 14 with a back injury. Kitna did not return phone call or e-mail messages.

Kitna, 39, had considered retirement before the 2011 season. Instead, he returned to Dallas without his family, who stayed at their off-season home in Washington.

He played for four teams in 15 seasons and was 50-74 in 124 career starts.

Kitna's departure leaves Stephen McGee as the team's backup quarterback behind Tony Romo.

Staff writer Charean Williams contributed to this report.

Clarence E. Hill Jr.

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