The Cowboys made official the hiring of Joe Baker on Monday. He will be the assistant secondary coach, helping newly hired Jerome Henderson.
Baker spent the past three seasons as an assistant with the Buccaneers. He has 16 years of NFL coaching experience and three years at the collegiate level.
He and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett go back to their playing days at Princeton. Baker was a receiver at Princeton from 1987-1990, catching passes from Garrett in 1987-88.
Baker and Henderson replace Dave Campo and Brett Maxie as the team's secondary coaches. Both Campo and Maxie's contracts expired after the 2011 season. The Cowboys chose not to offer Campo an extension, and he took a job as the defensive coordinator at Kansas. Maxie left to become secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans.
Baker was the Bucs defensive backs coach in 2009 before coaching the team's linebackers the past two seasons.
Tampa Bay finished 10th in the league in pass defense, with the secondary accounting for 15 of the team’s 19 interceptions. Safety Tanard Jackson and cornerback Aqib Talib tied for the team lead with five interceptions each.
Baker spent two seasons (2007-08) with the Broncos, first as an offensive assistant, then as the club’s linebackers coach. He was with the St. Louis Rams in 2006 (defensive quality control/linebackers), where he helped guide St. Louis to 32 takeaways - seventh in the league - with a league-best nine red zone takeaways. Baker spent 2005 with the Green Bay Packers (secondary/safeties) and worked with a defensive backfield that led the league in pass defense, allowing 165.7 yards-per-game - the club’s lowest total in 27 seasons.
Baker spent five seasons (2000-04) coaching various defensive positions with the New Orleans Saints. He made his NFL coaching debut in 1995 as the assistant special teams coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a position he held through the 1998 season. He first landed with the Jaguars in 1994 as the club’s manager of football operations leading into its inaugural season.
-- Charean Williams