D. J. Swearinger

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D. J. Swearinger
refer to caption
Swearinger with the Texans in 2014
No. 36 Arizona Cardinals
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-09-01) September 1, 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth: Greenwood, South Carolina
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school: Greenwood (SC)
College: South Carolina
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Second-team All-SEC (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2016
Total tackles: 178
Interceptions: 5
Forced fumbles: 5
Pass deflections: 13
Quarterback sacks: 2.0
Touchdowns: 0
Player stats at NFL.com

Dayarlo Jamal "D. J." Swearinger (pronounced SWAIR-in-jər;[1] born September 1, 1991) is an American football safety for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina.

Early years[edit]

Swearinger attended Greenwood High School in Greenwood, South Carolina, where he played alongside former South Carolina Gamecocks football college teammate Kelcy Quarles. A two-way starter for the Greenwood Eagles football team, he rushed for 400 yards and logged 68 tackles and five interceptions as a sophomore. He had 516 rushing yards and nine touchdowns with 93 tackles and an interception as a junior. As a senior, he rushed for 904 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 210 yards as a wide receiver. In addition, he also logged 77 tackles, broke up eight passes and caused two fumbles as a strong safety. He was named second-team All-State selection by The State. He was invited to play at the Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas, where he had an interception.

Also a standout in track & field, Swearinger competed in sprints, hurdles and jumps during the off-season as a junior and senior. At the 2009 Regional Meet, he took sixth in the 100-meter dash (10.81s), second in the 110m hurdles (14.56s) and placed first in the high jump (6-2 or 1.88m).[2]

Regarded as a three-star prospect, Swearinger was considered the 20th-best safety in the nation and the 14th-best prospect in the state of South Carolina by Rivals.com. He was also rated as a three-star prospect and the nation's 82nd-best safety according to Scout.com. He was considered the state's ninth-best player by SuperPrep, and was named to PrepStar's All-Atlantic Region squad. Swearinger originally committed to Tennessee and also had an offer from North Carolina, among others.

College career[edit]

Swearinger received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of South Carolina, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks football team from 2009 to 2012. During his college career he started 33 of 52 games in which he appeared, recording 244 tackles, six interceptions and three touchdowns. Following his senior 2012 season, he was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.

Professional career[edit]

Houston Texans[edit]

The Houston Texans selected Swearinger in the second round, with the 57th overall pick, of the 2013 NFL Draft. On the 13th of October 2013 in a game against the St. Louis Rams, the Houston Texans starting strong safety Danieal Manning was injured with a hairline fracture of his right fibula, which meant that the rookie safety would get his first start against Kansas City Chiefs the week after, he finished the game with a total of 5 combined tackles. He was waived on May 11, 2015.[3]

Preseason controversies[edit]

On August 17, 2013, Swearinger hit Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller's right knee, tearing his ACL, MCL, and PCL, and also dislocating his knee.[4] While some players considered the hit as "dirty",[5][6] Swearinger stated that he went low to avoid a fine[7] and the player was not reprimanded by the NFL.[8]

In the next preseason, on August 23, 2014, Swearinger was on the spotlights again in a match against the Denver Broncos after a hit that caused a concussion in wide receiver Wes Welker and drew an "unnecessary roughness" penalty.[9] On the next play, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning confronted the safety after completing a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, later resulting in Manning's first fine in his NFL career.[10] Once again, Swearinger was not fined.[11]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

Swearinger was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on May 12, 2015.[12] On November 17, 2015, he was waived.

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

Swearinger was signed to the Cardinals practice squad on December 1, 2015.[13][14] He was promoted to the 53-man roster on December 8, 2015. [15] Due to injuries in the Cardinals defensive backfield, Swearinger started his first game for the Cardinals on December 20, 2015. The next week, he started again against the Green Bay Packers, and would make a big impact, forcing a fumble against running back James Starks.


  1. ^ SEC Today - D.J. Swearinger & Mike Gillislee. SEC Digital Network. October 17, 2012. Event occurs at 0:00. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://sc.milesplit.com/meets/53021/results/90337
  3. ^ Patra, Kevin (May 11, 2015). "Report: Texans release safety D.J. Swearinger". NFL.com. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  4. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp13/story/_/id/9578937/dustin-keller-miami-dolphins-season
  5. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp13/story/_/id/9584359/brian-hartline-miami-dolphins-criticizes-houston-texans-safety-dj-swearinger-hit-dustin-keller
  6. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/08/21/atlanta-falcons-tight-end-tony-gonzalez-livid-over-hit-dustin-keller-dj-swearinger/2683103/
  7. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000231619/article/dj-swearinger-i-hit-dustin-keller-low-to-avoid-nfl-fine
  8. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/why-hit-against-dustin-keller-not-fined-jon-140505413.html
  9. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11433716/dj-swearinger-houston-texans-not-fined-hit-wes-welker
  10. ^ http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_26424164/peyton-manning-broncos-qb-fined-8-200-taunting
  11. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11433716/dj-swearinger-houston-texans-not-fined-hit-wes-welker
  12. ^ Dragon, Tyler. "Tampa Bay Buccaneers claim D.J. Swearinger". NFL.com. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Cardinals place Chris Johnson on IR/Designated to Return list, make other roster moves". ArizonaSports.com. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Alper, Josh (December 2, 2015). "Corey White lands job in Arizona". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  15. ^ AZCardinals (8 December 2015). "#AZCardinals place G Earl Watford (hand) on injured reserve and elevate safety D.J. Swearinger to the active roster." (Tweet) – via Twitter. 

External links[edit]