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Switzer insists he will stick with the Cowboys into his 60s

The Cowboys' first coach lasted 29 years. The next one stayed five years. Since late March, there has been a perception that the third coach might not make it much beyond five months.

More than once Barry Switzer has said he will return to his Norman, Okla., couch if he doesn't enjoy coaching the Cowboys. In a recent interview discussing his style, Switzer said he would not alter his approach "if I'm still here in three years."

Those statements, Switzer's often detached or uneducated manner in discussing other NFL teams, and his decision to skip Saturday meetings in order to watch his son play football have given him the appearance of a man less than consumed by coaching the Cowboys.

But Switzer, who has created that perception with his own remarks and actions, would like to correct the record.

Switzer, who turned 57 earlier this month, said he intends to coach the Cowboys into his 60s. "I'm a young guy," he said. "I have some physical (back) problems, but I can correct those."

Dickerson case dismissed

SANTA ANA, Calif. _ A judge dismissed a case against former running back Eric Dickerson, who was accused by an ex-friend of reneging on a $230,000 debt and threatening his life.

Dickerson was in Superior Court in Van Nuys to face Daryl Henry, who was seeking a permanent court order to keep Dickerson away from him, The Orange County Register reported.

Henry did not appear, and after a temporary restraining order against Dickerson expired, Superior Court Commissioner Mina D. Fried dismissed the criminal action.

Deion's dance irks some

SAN FRANCISCO _ Although the rest of the league figures Deion Sanders will give the 49ers a much-needed jolt toward the playoffs, some of those inside the locker room aren't on that page.

Several veteran 49ers are furious that Sanders injured himself during a sideline dance after his 93-yard interception return for a touchdown against Atlanta.

They are also furious that he began his news conference in the Georgia Dome with the words, "This is my house."

S.F. mayor vows upgrade

SAN FRANCISCO _ A new field and renovated luxury sky boxes are among the possible upgrades at Candlestick Park if the 1999 Super Bowl comes here.

Mayor Frank Jordan promises to give Candlestick Park a $26-million upgrade if the city is awarded the game.

Team owners are expected to decide Nov. 1 and 2 whether to hold the 1999 Super Bowl in San Francisco or Miami.

Injuries hit Packers

GREEN BAY _ Quarterback Brett Favre, who suffered a hip pointer in the first quarter of Thursday night's game against Minnesota, should be able to start against Chicago next week, coach Mike Holmgren said. If not, Mark Brunell, a second-year pro from Washington, will get his first start.

Also, cornerback Lenny McGill is out for the season with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

Around the league

Rams: Starting wide receiver Jessie Hester was unable to practice because of back spasms, but Coach Chuck Knox said he hopes treatment will allow Hester to play against New Orleans.

Chiefs: Sore ribs kept Joe Montana from practicing most of this week, but he did practice with the team Friday as a tuneup for Sunday's game with Seattle. "They're still a little sore, but they were sore last week, too," Montana said.

Giants: Linebacker Marcus Buckley will make his first start of the season and third of his two-year career, against Pittsburgh. He replaces Corey Miller (knee).