Number seven in our list sees us move back over to the defensive side of the Football and a player who is arguably one of the most dominant on the team.
Every team, no matter how disciplined of a defence they own, need a gritty player. One who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, take a few penalties and stick it to some of the the biggest guys in the league. That’s what Fletcher Cox is to the Philadelphia Eagles.
At 6’4”and 300-pounds, the defensive lineman’s fearless attitude in the trenches allows the linebackers around him to perform to their fullest potential. Cox finished fifth in tackles for the team last year with 61.
Cox is absolutely imperative to the Eagles defensive line but often goes down as an unsung hero. His ability to penetrate stop multiple blockers in the same play give the praised players such as Barwin the ability to make the highlight reel plays in the first place. Fletcher Cox is the screenwriter whilst Barwin and company get the roses thrown on stage.
The powerhouse who just finished his third year with the team, has compiled 12.5 sacks and 109 tackles in his career, and isn’t arguably the best defenseman in Philadelphia, but arguably the best in his position across the league.
Cox received AP second-team All-Pro honors, but head coach Chip Kelly was stunned that Cox was not selected to compete in the Pro-Bowl.
So, why is Cox going to be critical to the Eagles this season? He improves year on year and has evolved into one of the most feared players in the D-Line across the NFL. It’s the sort of presence that the Eagles need more of if they’re going to evolve this season. They struggled hugely on defence last year and whilst new CB additions will help that, if the trenches get over run then these signings become meaningless. It’s Fletcher Cox who mans the fleet of tanks in the trenches and if last season is anything to go by, he’s not going home until the war is won.