TAMPA — Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard met with the Bucs on Sunday in the Dallas area with general manager Jason Licht, possibly signalling an end to the team's interviewing process for a new head coach.
Richard (pronounced Ri-Shard) helped lead the Cowboys to a 24-22 win over Seattle in the NFC wildcard game Saturday. Richard also completed interviews with the Jets and Dolphins Sunday.
Richard, 39, is the fourth coach to meet with Licht since the Bucs fired head coach Dirk Koetter last Sunday. He has the title of secondary coach and passing game coordinator with the Cowboys but has been defacto defensive coordinator with Rod Marinelli allowing him to call plays.
Licht met with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy in Kansas City on Wednesday then traveled to Minnesota to meet interview Viking defensive coordinator George Edwards on Friday.
But the leading candidate has always been former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who interviewed for the job in Tampa on Saturday.
Arians, 66, is the only known candidate for the Bucs job who has been a head coach.
He retired as head coach of the Cardinals following the 2017 season and spent this year working as a broadcaster for CBS.
Not only is Arians a two-time NFL Coach of the Year, he has a history with both quarterback Jameis Winston and Licht.
Winston attended Arians' football camp in Birmingham, Ala., when he was in middle school. Licht was the vice president of player personnel for Arizona in 2013.
Arians has been considered the front-runner for the position, but the Bucs hired a search firm and committed to a thorough process before deciding on their sixth head coach since 2008.
The Bucs say they have no timetable for naming a head coach, but if the interview process is complete, they could make an announcement early next week. As of Sunday night, no news conference was scheduled.