Has Fox saved his job or is Cowher destined for Carolina?

The Carolina Panthers have been the model for inconsistency under head coach John Fox for the better part of a decade. One year they’re up, the next they’re down.

But much like previous down years, the Panthers are finishing strong in 2009. They’ve won three of their last four games and have the opportunity to finish .500, which is quite an accomplishment for a team that had Jake Delhomme under center for most of their year.

Their strong finish begs the question: Has Fox saved his job?

Rumors are circulating that Bill Cowher wants to return to the sidelines in 2010 and Carolina might be a fit because his daughter attends N.C. State. If Cowher is interested, will the Panthers jump at the opportunity to bring him on board or will they stay loyal to Fox, a man that led the team to their only Super Bowl appearance?

Much like in previous down years, the Panthers struggled with injuries and inconsistency this season. Delhomme was a train wreck and should no longer be viewed as a starter, especially given that Matt Moore is gaining confidence with each passing week. The defense has gelled nicely under new defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and the running game is sound with the two-headed monster of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The team could use a No. 2 receiver opposite Steve Smith but other than that, they don’t have a ton of holes.

With that in mind, is Fox the right person to get the Panthers back to the playoffs or should the front office go in another direction? Personally, if Cowher is interested I don’t know how the Panthers don’t entertain the thought of hiring him. But if he turns them down or isn’t interested, then Fox should be retained.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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