MOBILE, Ala. – Understandably, most of the focus has been on the Cowboys' offensive coaching staff this past week.
But while the Cowboys sort out their offensive coordinator situation, there are still some lingering questions on the defensive side of the ball – namely, Kris Richard.
The Cowboys' secondary coach and passing game coordinator made a big impression during his first season in Dallas, helping lift the defense to No. 7 overall and No. 6 in scoring defense. That production, combined with a passionate demeanor, helped Richard secure three interviews for head coaching vacancies around the NFL.
With the offseason already underway, all of those vacancies are filled, but there has still be speculation the Cowboys may alter Richard's role moving forward. How they handle that is something they're still considering.
"Those are all things, like I said, we're comfortable with who we have internally," said team chief operating officer Stephen Jones. "How we situate things at the end of the day is something that we'll be going over here over the next couple of weeks."
These topics stem back to before the Cowboys' playoff loss to the Rams, when Richard interviewed for the head coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. At the time, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli told reporters he would "do whatever the Cowboys need to be done for us to keep Kris Richard" – although he also fiercely denied suggestions that he planned to retire.
To be clear, the Cowboys don't have to make any changes. Richard is under contract, and there aren't currently any head coaching vacancies in the NFL. But fresh off an impressive year, the team may feel inclined toward a title change for one of the league's rising young stars.
However it plays out, it's something Jones said the Cowboys will figure out in time.
"Obviously, our coaches are at the Pro Bowl right now working with that group of players down there," he said. "And, so, we have some time, as I said, as Jerry said, we feel comfortable about who we have on board here and we'll get everybody situated and sorted out the right way."