Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman said he is a big fan of Hudson Houck, but that new offensive line coach Bill Callahan looks like a good fit for the Cowboys because of his working history with Jon Gruden.
“I don’t know what his techniques are, how similar or how different they are from what the Cowboys were being taught before, but knowing he was there with Jon Gruden and knowing what Jon Gruden likes to do, I think that’s a pretty good fit, would be my guess, in Dallas,” Aikman said.
Callahan was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Raiders under Gruden in the years before Gruden went to become the head coach at Tampa Bay. The 2000 Raiders under Gruden and Callahan led the NFL in rushing. Gruden and Callahan also worked together in Philadelphia under head coach Ray Rhodes, when Gruden was offensive coordinator and Callahan was offensive line coach.
Aikman was asked about the new Cowboys offensive line coach in a conference call Wednesday to promote FOX’s coverage of the NFC playoffs.
Aikman never played for Callahan, who took the Raiders to the Super Bowl in his first year as a head coach and spent four years as a college head coach at Nebraska. But Aikman said everyone he has been talking to about Callahan has had high praise for him.
“Talking to a number of players and coaches who were part of that staff long ago, before he went on became the head coach in Oakland, from early on in Gruden’s tenure in Oakland, a lot of people I was talking to at that time were raving about Bill Callahan and how good he was as an offensive line coach,” Aikman said.
Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, who brought Houck to Dallas, said his former assistant did a great job as an offensive line coach in two stints in Dallas. But he was also optimistic about Callahan.
“He’s an outstanding football coach,” Johnson said. “I don’t know him. I know his reputation.”
-- Carlos Mendez