Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach Jerry Rhome is one of at least three candidates still in the running for the St. Louis Cardinals head coaching job, which is likely to be filled by next week.

Rhome, Dallas defensive backfield coach Gene Stallings and New England defensive coordinator Rod Rust have been interviewed at least twice each by Cardinals owner William Bidwill, according to sources.

Stallings apparently was interviewed for a third time last weekend at the National Football League scouting meetings in New Orleans.

Rhome, who has been with the Redskins for three years and is credited with developing quarterback Jay Schroeder, said he last spoke with Bidwill last weekend at the scouting meetings. "I just said 'Hello' to him," Rhome said yesterday. "It was casual. It certainly wasn't an interview . . . . I really don't know what his plans are or when he will make a decision."

Rhome said if he doesn't get the head coaching job, it's very unlikely he would leave the Redskins to become the Cardinals' offensive coordinator, another job that opened when Bidwill fired Coach Jim Hanifan and his staff Dec. 21.

That position would become very important for the Cardinals if Bidwill hired a defensive specialist as head coach. Quarterback Neil Lomax had a disappointing season in 1985, and Hanifan said yesterday from his home in St. Louis that he believes "getting Lomax back on track should be the No. 1 thought in the mind" of his successor.

But it is considered unlikely the Redskins would give Rhome permission to discuss an assistant coaching position with another NFC East team.

"If they want me to coach their quarterbacks and receivers, they should hire me as head coach," Rhome said. "I told them that. I'm not sure what they think about it, though."