Kris Richard on becoming a head coach: It will happen when it does

AP

Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator/secondary coach Kris Richard had three interviews for head coaching jobs in the NFL. He reportedly came close to getting the Dolphins job, which will go instead to Patriots assistant Brian Flores.

Richard wants to be an NFL head coach, of course, but he doesn’t know if this hiring cycle moved him closer to that goal.

“I don’t know because it’s not my decision,” Richard said Thursday, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “In my mind, it will happen when it does, and the right place will be wherever it is. I just want to serve. That’s my whole goal.”

Richard confirmed he will return to the Cowboys for the 2019 season, and said he might have returned even if he had gotten a head coaching offer. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and then-coach Bill Parcells convinced Sean Payton to remain in Dallas in 2004 instead of going to the Raiders as a head coach. Payton finally left the Cowboys in 2006 for the Saints job.

“This is a first-class organization,” Richard said. “. . .If I would’ve been chosen [for a head coaching job], there’s no guarantee that I would’ve left. I gave them my word that whatever decision was going to be made I would come back to the table and talk to them.”

It is unknown whether he will have the same job title and salary this season. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli allowed Richard to do much of the play-calling this season when the Cowboys ranked sixth in points allowed and seventh in yards allowed.

But Marinelli, 69, was adamant after the Cowboys’ loss to the Rams in the divisional round that he is not retiring.

“He’s like one of the top three men in the world as far as I’m concerned,” Richard said of Marinelli. “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. I love him.”

If the Cowboys choose not to extend head coach Jason Garrett’s contract, which expires after the 2019 season, he would enter the year on the hot seat. And if the Cowboys fail to make the postseason, then Richard would be among the candidates for the job.