Management has two primary goals for the Tennessee Titans: Win games and protect franchise rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Ken Whisenhunt didn't do a good enough job in either category, so he was let go.

Now former Vikings tight end Mike Mularkey gets a nine-game audition for the job.

The Titans became the second NFL team to fire a coach this season, relieving Whisenhunt of his duties Tuesday morning after he went 3-20 in his tenure with the franchise. They turned the team over to Mularkey on an interim basis.

A former head coach with Buffalo and Jacksonville, Mularkey was a finalist in Tennessee in 2011 before Mike Munchak was hired.

"I don't care how good the rest of your team is if you don't have the right kind of quarterback it's hard to succeed long-term," team President Steve Underwood said. "We now have another rookie quarterback who's very promising, and I think our future is bright. … So much in our league begins and ends with the quarterback."

Cowboys waive Randle

The Cowboys' patience with Joseph Randle ran out.

The Cowboys waived the third-year running back, ending a bizarre week for Randle: He strained his oblique in the Oct. 25 game against the Giants, and then lost his starting job to Darren McFadden as he watched his teammate have a big game from the sideline.

Then he found out he faces discipline from the league under the personal conduct policy for his involvement in a domestic violence incident in Wichita, Kan., last spring.

He expressed concerns about his girlfriend, calling police to his house Wednesday afternoon when he bolted from the facility, though they found nothing wrong.

Randle spent most of last week away from the team facility, including meeting with team counselors as the Cowboys expressed concern for his mental health.


•The Colts have lost three games in a row and quarterback Andrew Luck has struggled. A confounding start prompted Colts coach Chuck Pagano to fire offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and replace him with associate head coach Rob Chudzinski.

•Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will miss the rest of the season but is expected to make a full recovery from a lacerated kidney suffered in Sunday' loss to the Ravens.