IRVING -- Jason Garrett will enter his second full season as a head coach with someone to lean on.
That's how he described new offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan in a news conference Thursday at Valley Ranch to introduce him and new secondary coach Jerome Henderson.
"I'm going to lean on him a lot of different ways," Garrett said of Callahan, the former Oakland Raiders and Nebraska head coach. "He's had great run offenses. He's had great pass offenses. To have that exposure to him, a guy who has so much experience, he's just going to help us in so many ways."
Eventually, that might include taking the playcalling load off Garrett's shoulders.
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Garrett said Thursday he can see a day when he is a head coach and doesn't call the plays, but that for now, he wants to keep his chemistry with quarterback Tony Romo.
"Our quarterback played awfully well this year, had probably the best year of his career," Garrett said. "So there's a comfort level that we'll want to make sure we maintain in that area.... We'll keep going down the road that we have, and hopefully at some point, there's a comfort level that we'll turn it over to somebody else."
Callahan's experience ought to provide a comfort level. He was the offensive line coach for the strong offensive teams of the Philadelphia Eagles in the mid-1990s. He was the offensive line coach for the 2000 Raiders, who led the NFL in rushing, and the head coach for the 2002 Raiders, who reached the Super Bowl behind the league's top passing offense.
"Anything that I can do to lighten the load on Jason, we've talked about that," Callahan said. "And I've indicated that to him in so many ways. Anything that I can do, game day, during the week, at practice, with the unit, to take any type of load off of him, I'm there for him. I want to be able to serve the head coach."
With the Cowboys, the 55-year-old Chicago native takes over the duties of Hudson Houck, who retired. Callahan spent the past four seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach with the New York Jets, who reached consecutive AFC championship games in the two seasons before this one.
"I've been part of a Super Bowl team but didn't have a chance to win a world championship," Callahan said. "We came close, but didn't do well on that particular day. This team has a lot of those ingredients that are there, that can make this team great."
Henderson, who spent the past three years as secondary coach in Cleveland, replaces Dave Campo, but the Cowboys will hire an assistant secondary coach.
Garrett said he was swayed on Henderson by the opinions of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, linebackers coach Matt Eberflus and defensive ends coach Ben Bloom, who all worked with him in Cleveland.
"They just spoke so highly of him," Garrett said.
Henderson played eight seasons (1991-98) in the NFL as a defensive back.
"I think there are pieces in place that excite you here," he said.
"And I just hope to contribute to what's already being done here."
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760