Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

Obscure Coaching Spotlight: Dave Campo

Admit it, you missed the shit out of Obscure Athletes the past two days. Unfortunately for you it was this guy’s mom’s birthday yesterday, and the day before that, well, I just plain don’t have an excuse. But we’re back today with a very special spotlight on a former (somehow) head coach.

I fucking hate the Dallas Cowboys. I hate Jerry Jones and the billion-dollar mosoleum/coffin/stadium he built for himself. I hate Jimmy Johnson. And I hate how overrated they are, EVERY SINGLE YEAR by everyone on that fucking stupid-ass FOX pregame show. So of course, it gives me great pleasure to bring you the first ever edition of the Obscure Coach of the Week, and the subject of the spotlight this week is former Dallas Cowboy trainwreck Dave Campo.

This man lived with his hands on his hips.

David Cross Campo spent many years honing his future NFL obscurity in the college ranks, making appearances at Pittsburgh University, Washington State, Boise State, Oregon State, and Iowa State among others. He became Jimmy Johnson’s secondary coach at the University of Miami before taking the same job under Johnson when Johnson went to Dallas to coach the Cowboys for the 1989 season.

Campo worked for Johnson in Dallas and received two rings as secondary coach, and got one later in his first season as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. When Jimmy Johnson left America’s team after the ‘99 season, Campo seemed to be a no-brainer as the best choice for the promotion he’d been waiting ten years for.

 And did he ever prove everyone wrong. In their first injury-riddled campaign, Campo’s Cowboys hobbled to the end of the season with a 5-11 record. Having hand-picked the stunningly mediocre rookie Quincy Carter in training camp to be the next in a string of great Cowboys quarterbacks, it came as no surprise that Campo would end with another remarkably lackluster 5-11 performance in 2001.

I'll put it this way: If my future as an NFL coach depended on this guy, I'd be cleaning out my goddamn desk.

Sporting a 10-22 career record going into the 2002 season, many guessed Campo  would have already been given his walking papers. But Jerry Jones is never wrong, so Campo was given yet another season at the helm of America’s team. Once again Dallas stumbled to one more 5-11 record in a season in which Campo spent most Sunday afternoons arguing with officials, before finally being canned after the ‘02 season.

As is so often the case with obscure and bad coaches in the NFL, Dave Campo’s story doesn’t end with him being a mediocre and obscure head coach. After stops in Cleveland and Jacksonville, Dave Campo made a triumphant return to Dallas, this time, back as a secondary coach. Don’t ya love it when mediocrity comes full-circle? Very literary if you ask me.


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