ARLINGTON, Texas – If there were any questions about why Kris Richard is a hot commodity in NFL coaching searches, they were answered Saturday night.
The Cowboys stifled the Seahawks in a 24-22 wildcard win at AT&T Stadium, with the Dallas defense holding Seattle to just 299 total yards, 11 first downs and two touchdowns.
As the passing game coordinator and secondary coach, Richard's role in that is undeniable – which should explain why at least three NFL clubs are inquiring after his services as a possible head coach.
"Well, it doesn't surprise me at all that clubs have the interest that they have in him," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones. "There are no secrets in the NFL when it comes to people who can help you win football games."
With the Cowboys' game out of the way, those interested clubs are not wasting any time. Richard has been linked to the New York Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins – and all three teams are in town to interview with him, starting Sunday.
"It's going to be a long day, but one I'm looking forward to," Richard said. "I'm excited about the opportunities and the possibilities."
With all of this in mind, it's hard to believe it hasn't even been a year since the Cowboys brought Richard on board. Richard was the Seahawks' defensive coordinator for three seasons, and he has been instrumental in molding the Dallas defense into a unit that is seventh in the league in total defense and sixth in the league in scoring defense.
"He's a winner. He is a winner, and he's made a big impact on our team here – which is amazing, considering he's just been here starting in the spring," Jones said. "So he's obviously a very qualified individual if you're looking for a head coach."
Jones even acknowledged that the Dolphins' owner, Stephen Ross, and his staff attended Saturday night's game to get a look at Richard. He also joked that he'd be sure to tell them what Richard doesn't do well, in the hopes of scaring them away.
Based on Saturday night's performance – not to mention the performance of this defense throughout the season – that's probably not going to work.