Jags allow Cowboys to talk to former head coach Campo

Updated: January 27, 2008, 1:26 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Dallas Cowboys have received permission to talk with Jacksonville Jaguars' assistant head coach Dave Campo about a job as secondary coach.

Campo is believed to be the front-runner to fill the vacancy created when Todd Bowles departed last week to join the Miami Dolphins' staff as assistant head coach.

[+] EnlargeDave Campo
Paul Spinelli/Getty ImagesIt appears the Jags won't stand in the way of former Cowboys coach Dave Campo taking a job on Wade Phillips' staff in Dallas.

If Campo accepts an offer from Dallas, it would spell a return to the franchise that fired him following the 2002 season after he went 15-33 as head coach.

But neither Campo nor Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seem to have much problem with such an unusual circumstance, so there is a relatively good chance the move will be consummated. The Cowboys lost three defensive assistants last week -- Bowles, linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni and line coach Kacy Rodgers -- when their Dallas contracts expired and they accepted offers to join new coach Tony Sparano's staff in Miami. Sparano had been the assistant head coach in Dallas, and it was well known that he intended to fill jobs with several Cowboys staffers.

Dallas last week hired former Cleveland defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to replace Rodgers, but is still seeking assistants for the secondary and linebackers positions.

Campo, 60, has been an assistant head coach in Jacksonville the past three seasons, working primarily with the secondary unit. Jags coach Jack Del Rio last week hired Donnie Henderson, a former defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions and New York Jets, to an undefined role. Henderson could take over the secondary position, long his area of expertise, if Campo leaves.

Because the move does not include the prospect of a head coach job, Jacksonville could have denied the Cowboys' request to talk to Campo. Apparently, Del Rio will not stand in Campo's way if he wants to leave.

In 1989, Campo was hired by the Cowboys as their secondary coach; he served on the staffs of head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer in that capacity until being elevated to head coach in 2000. After three straight 5-11 seasons, Campo was fired.

Campo was then an assistant coach in Cleveland (2003-2004) before joining Del Rio's staff in 2005.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.