CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 24: Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers watches on against the San Francisco 49ers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Every time the Cowboys lose, we’ll profile potential replacements for Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, should he be fired by the end of the season. Today, it’s John Fox!
Name: John Fox.
Career Record: 71-62
Credentials: Current head coach of the Carolina Panthers. In eight full seasons, Fox has led the Panthers to two division titles and three playoff berths. He’s taken Carolina to the NFC title game twice and the Super Bowl once (losing in 2003/2004 to New England in a very tight contest). And he did so with Jake Delhomme as his starting quarterback, which means that he may be a necromancer of some kind. Not just any coach can get to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme in charge. After starting off 0-3 last year, Fox managed to get Carolina back to an 8-8 record by season’s end, just narrowly missing out on the playoffs. Fox was also the defensive coordinator of the Giants when they made their surprise run to the Super Bowl in 2000.
If Jerry Jones is looking for someone who can run the defense as competently as Wade Phillips did, but without all of Wade’s glaring faults as a leader, John Fox makes perfect sense. His record is a bit uneven, but you rarely see players complain about him or slack off when things go wrong. He’s the rare coach that straddles the line between hardass and player’s coach without any awkwardness. He also picks decent assistant coaches, a must given that Jason Garrett needs the boot. And he’s not such a big name that he’d demand control over personnel of the team, though perhaps that would be a nice change of pace from the wild nutcase currently in charge of picking players.
Weaknesses: You know managers who get pilloried for leaving a gassed pitcher in a game for way too long? Well, take that pitcher, make him a QB, and instead of leaving him in for too many innings, have him stay out there for entire games and seasons past his expiration date. That’s what John Fox did with Jake Delhomme, and it’s probably the reason Carolina will undergo a massive overhaul in their management at the end of this year. Fox’s loyalty to Delhomme was a huge mistake, as was his initial unwillingness to give DeAngelo Williams carries early in his career. Fox, at times, has also made baffling errors with the clock. Though you can probably now say that of every coach in the NFL. Fox is also a defensive coach like Wade was, and I think Jerry may be more inclined to go for a coach who can fix the offense, such as Brian Schottenheimer. Fox never exactly had a high octane offense with the Panthers.
Odds Of Being Named The Next Cowboys Coach: 4/1. Fox’s contract ends at the end of this season, so he’s free to go where he pleases (and there’s little to indicate that Carolina wants desperately to keep him). I think the Double J almost certainly has him in his sights. He can hire Fox and get a respected coach who still won’t step on his toes too much. That’s Jerry for you. Always wants to have his chicken fried steak and eat it, too.
Do You Want Him?: Let us know in the comments.
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