As the Dallas Cowboys continue to slide, criticism of coach Barry Switzer builds. Or so he is told.
“I don’t pay any attention to that,” Switzer said Tuesday. “I have never let things like that bother me.”
Although Switzer has been jeered practically since he replaced Jimmy Johnson, things have been especially heated the last two years. The Cowboys missed the NFC championship game for the first time in five years last season and at 4-5 this season they’re in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990.
Switzer, however, insists he ignores the pundits who speculate he’ll be fired and the fans who are calling for his dismissal.
“I don’t even think about it,” Switzer said. “It really doesn’t enter my mind. It seems to be on your mind more than it is on mine. It’s irrelevant to me.”
Switzer spent much of his weekly news conference Tuesday discussing his job performance. His personal evaluation: “Same as it’s been every year. It’s no different from any other year.”
When asked if he expects to be back next year, Switzer only response was, “Sure.”
The only person who can determine whether Switzer stays is owner Jerry Jones and he says he’s standing behind Switzer.
However, the Washington Post cited NFL sources it did not identify as saying they believe Switzer could be fired next week and temporarily replaced by Cowboys personnel director Larry Lacewell.
Panthers get their chance for revenge
Unless the Carolina Panthers were simply making idle threats in August, this is the week they seek retribution for quarterback Kerry Collins.
Time has a way of fading memories, but the Panthers are unlikely to have forgotten the helmet-to-helmet hit that Denver linebacker Bill Romanowski put on Collins in an Aug. 9 preseason game. The blow fractured Collins’ jaw and put him out of action for five weeks, including the Panthers’ first two regular season games.
Upon returning to the lineup, Collins threw seven interceptions over a two-week period and was benched. Only in the last three games - all Carolina victories - has the Panthers quarterback returned to form.
Even Romanowski will concede Carolina’s 5-4 record may have something to do with the quarterback’s injury.
“I’m sure Kerry getting hurt was a factor in their season,” Romanowski said. “It had to be.”
Grbac out for at least a month
Quarterback Elvis Grbac, who rejuvenated Kansas City’s offense in just half a season, will be out at least a month with a broken collarbone.
Grbac was slammed to the ground in the fourth quarter Monday night of the Chiefs’ 13-10 victory over Pittsburgh.
He’ll be replaced this week at Jacksonville by backup Rich Gannon, a 10-year veteran.
Lloyd fined $15,000 for hit on McCardell
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd was fined $15,000 by the National Football League for a hit on Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell on Oct. 26, the league said.
Lloyd knocked McCardell to the ground at the end of the first play from scrimmage during the game, and McCardell said Lloyd told him it was in retaliation for a threatening phone call.
The league said it found “no evidence of such a call.”
Around the league
Defensive lineman Sean Gilbert, the NFL’s lone holdout will sit out the entire the season. The NFL’s free-agent signing deadline passed Tuesday with the Washington Redskins unable to land Gilbert, who had sought $4.5 million for this year. … Philadelphia Eagles center Steven Everitt was charged with drunken driving, speeding and possession of drug paraphernalia after police in suburban Philadelphia stopped him early Tuesday. Officers said they found a marijuana pipe in his car when they pulled him over at 12:37 a.m… . The San Diego Chargers released veterans Alfred Pupunu and Carwell Gardner and signed linebacker Michael Hamilton and fullback Robert Chancey from their practice squad.