But Turner's son, who is 12, plays on Saturday afternoons, when the Redskins are off. And Doug Switzer has four afternoon games left this season, which would seem to leave his dad plenty of time to see him play.
The Cowboy players don't think the controversy is such a big deal. But Switzer's behavior is not insignificant. He is apparently the only head coach in the league who regularly misses Saturday-night meetings, and his absence makes it appear that the team is on automatic pilot. Of course, Johnson does take pleasure in tweaking Switzer—Jimmy genuinely dislikes Barry—but criticizing Johnson for raising the issue is like shooting the messenger. The message is valid, folks.
"What did I say?" an exasperated Johnson said on Saturday night. "I said it was surprising that a guy who'd been lying on his couch for five years and then got the best coaching job in football would have something else to do the night before the home opener of his first season with the Cowboys. I mean, if the head coach is not going to be there, they ought to cancel the meetings."
"You know what?" Washington said late Sunday afternoon. "We don't care. Jimmy chose to jump off the ship, so he's gone. Let's let it die."
That's good advice. Johnson will have a lot more to say this season—he has three TV segments a week, in addition to a weekly newspaper column—but the Cowboys are too good a team to let this intramural stuff take away from their play.
Surprise of the Year
It was easy to be skeptical about the Eagles before this season. Over the past three years they had lost the guts of their defense to free agency, age and even death, and last year they tried to buy a front seven by bringing in over-the-hill guys like Keith Millard, Michael Carter and Tim Harris. This year the Eagles traded for San Diego defensive end Burt Grossman, gave free-agent defensive end William Fuller an $8.4 million, three-year deal and signed defensive end Greg Townsend after Al Davis waived him from the Raiders. With those three joining incumbent tackles Andy Harmon and William Perry, the Eagles have built an unexpectedly strong front line, a line that dominated the 49ers in a stunning 40-8 win in San Francisco on Sunday.
The first three 49er offensive series ended in an interception, a punt and Fuller's sack of Steve Young for a safety. The next time San Francisco touched the ball, Philadelphia led 23-0 and the 49er offense had gained one net yard. "We didn't know who we were going to have or what they were going to do when they got here," said Eagle defensive line coach Dale Haupt. "But it's really come together."
Former Redskin coach Joe Gibbs has told friends around the league not to count on his ever getting back into the game. The Carolina expansion job looks as if it will go to a teacher type from college football, perhaps Florida coach Steve Spurrier or Texas's John Mackovic....