Campo rejoins Cowboys as secondary coach

IRVING, Texas -- Former 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 family.

"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 candidates.

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.


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