Cowboys replace Hudson Houck

Updated: January 11, 2012, 12:09 PM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN

The Dallas Cowboys have hired former New York Jets line coach Bill Callahan to replace legendary offensive line coach Hudson Houck, who has decided to retire after 29 years in the NFL, Houck confirmed Tuesday night.

The Cowboys are also hiring Cleveland Browns Jerome Henderson as their new defensive backs coach, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Houck, 69, is believed to have coached more Pro Bowl offensive linemen in league history, dating back to his time when he began in 1983 with the Los Angeles Rams, including a stint with the Cowboys that began in 1993 when he was their line coach for two of their three Super Bowl championship seasons.

"I've had a great time, been part of a lot of winning teams and I've enjoyed a lot of wonderful relationships," Houck said. "I plan on meeting with (Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones tomorrow to just express my gratitude for what he's done for me and my family. It's time for me and Elsie (his wife) to enjoy the grandkids even more."

Callahan, 55, is leaving the Jets after joining them in 2008 as assistant head coach/offensive line. As head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2000-02, Callahan compiled a 15-17 record and led them to the Super Bowl. He also coached the Nebraska Cornhuskers for four seasons, with a 27-22 mark.

Aside from coaching for the Rams and Cowboys (two stints), Houck also coached for the Seahawks, Chargers and Dolphins.

Former Rams tackle Jackie Slater credited Houck with his development as a Hall of Famer and Houck was very influential in the Cowboys selecting USC tackle Tyron Smith as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Smith developed into the team's best lineman and one of the top offensive rookies in the league.

Slater was one of five Rams linemen to enjoy 21 Pro Bowl appearances under Houck's tutelage. During his 1993-2001 stretch with the Cowboys, he coached six linemen who had 22 Pro Bowl selections. With the Rams, Eric Dickerson ran for a record 2,105 yards in 1994 behind Houck's line. Emmitt Smith compiled most of his NFL career rushing yards record when Houck was the line coach in Dallas.

Houck played center for the USC Trojans and was a member of their 1962 national championship team.

Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst.

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