The Cowboys found themselves with an opening on their coaching staff when Matt Eberflus left to, presumably, become Josh McDaniels’ defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts.
While McDaniels didn’t ultimately make his way to Indianapolis, Eberflus did and left Dallas in search of a replacement.
Enter former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
Richard was hired by the Cowboys to serve as their defensive passing game coordinator after he was fired by the Seahawks after three seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator in January. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is hopeful that the addition of a former Seahawks defensive coach will boost the performance of Dallas’ defensive unit.
“I didn’t know him personally,’’ Garrett said of Richard, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “I certainly knew of him. If you look back at the last seven years, do a statistical analysis of who the best defense in the National Football League is, it all points to that team out in the Northwest. Seattle has played great defense over the course of that time.
“Obviously Pete Carroll has done an amazing job there with that defensive team, but a lot of other guys have been there — Kris has been there from the start. So we have great admiration for how they play defense, how he coaches. Had admiration for him from afar for a long time and anybody who has been around him as a player or a coach spoke highly of him. So when he was available to us we wanted to bring him in and visit with him. Had a great visit.”
Before Richard was Seattle’s defensive coordinator, he was the team’s defensive backs coach. He was heavily involved with the progression of Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Byron Maxwell and others into highly successful members of the team’s secondary.
Garrett puts a lot of the credit for those successes on Richard’s presence.
“He always seems to get the best out of individual players,” Garrett said. “He always seems to get the best out of that secondary there. And they have some marquee guys up there but they weren’t always marquee guys from the start, think about guys like (Richard) Sherman and (Kam) Chancellor and where those guys started and where they were drafted and he was with those guys from the start, really helped their development.
“And not only individuals but if you think about that secondary and the impact he had on that secondary, had on that defense, he’s a big part of that. And if you ask the coaches who were there, ask the players who were there, they would echo those ideas.”