Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys DB coach Kris Richard says frustrating NFL hiring process won’t change him

Kris Richard says he will not be changed by frustrating NFL hiring process, his mission statement to serve will remain

Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard says he will not be changed by frustrating NFL hiring process, his mission statement to serve will remain
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Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard says he will not be changed by frustrating NFL hiring process, his mission statement to serve will remain

While the Dallas Cowboys remain up in the air about changes to the offensive coaching staff, there is no uncertainty about the return of Kris Richard, the secondary coach who serves as the de facto defensive coordinator.

Richard interviewed for head coaching positions with the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Buccaneers and New York Jets after the Cowboys wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks.

All three teams went in another direction.

Richard said he enjoyed the interviews and tried to learn as much as he could about the decision-makers and what they are looking for.

However, he doesn’t know if the process, which has seen the number of African-American head coaches in the NFL dwindle from six to three in the past year, put him one step closer to his ultimate goal.

“I don’t know because it’s not my decision,” Richard said. “It will happen when it does. And the right place will be where it is. I just want to serve. That is my whole goal. I want to serve. I want to make sure we give these guys something when they leave this game.”

Richard, however, refuses to let himself get frustrated with a process that doesn’t seem to have a consistent blueprint for success. He said he is going to remain the same.

“It is what is it is,” Richard said. “It’s how you handle it. It’s not going to change me. It’s not going to change who I am. It’s not going to change what my mission is. My mission statement will always be the same. I want to have a great impact on my environment wherever I am. I want to do it through humility. I want to do it through staying focused on what I can control. And spread that message, get that around. Get guys to play hard, play together, play really fast and do it as one.”

Kris Richard calls Cowboys a first-class organization, says there was no guarantee he would have left for a head coaching job

Richard is disappointed he didn’t get the opportunity to become a head coach. But he is not unhappy about returning to the Cowboys, which he calls a first-class organization, and is thankful how owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones treated him during the process.

He says there is no guarantee he would have left if offered a head coaching job, though the latter is hard to believe because only a few of these jobs come open every year and there are even more limited opportunities for African-American coaches.

“This is a first-class organization,” Richard said from the Pro Bowl this week. “The Jones family, they have been gracious. They gave me the opportunity to be here. They gave me the opportunity to have the interviews. They have been supportive throughout the whole entire ordeal.

“If I would have been chosen there is no guarantee I would have left. All of those things are still in play. I gave them my word that whatever decision that was going to be made I would come back to the table and talk to them. That is the ultimate truth about it. That is the respect I have for them and how I revere our relationship.”

Richard also gushed about defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, whose selfless spirit allowed him to take over the defense and thrive. He said he is excited they will continue to work and grow together with the Cowboys.

“He’s like one of the top three men in the world as far as I’m concerned,” Richard said. “He has great character. He’s tough. He’s demanding. I just love his attitude. He’s what is right about America. He’s hard. You can’t live soft and be hard. He’s got the right mentality.

“He was gracious enough and humble enough to allow me to come in and call the defense to allow me to continue to grow. I love him. I am grateful for him. I am looking forward to going on and getting better with him”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.