Eagles analysis

Still going strong, Cox takes his place on most important Eagles list

Fletcher Cox played well in 2022 and the Eagles need that to continue this coming season

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Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2023 season.

25. Nolan Smith
24. Quez Watkins
23. Kenny Gainwell
22. Marcus Mariota
21. Reed Blankenship
20. Brandon Graham
19. D'Andre Swift
18. Avonte Maddox
17. Cam Jurgens
16. Fletcher Cox

After a disappointing season in 2021, Fletcher Cox rebounded in a major way last year for the Eagles.

They’ll need at least one more of those seasons from Cox.

Cox is 32 now and he’s no longer the Pro Bowler and All-Pro he once was. But he did start every game last season for the Eagles and had 7 sacks, the most since his All-Pro season in 2018. It was also the third-highest total of his NFL career.

In addition to his 7 sacks in 2022, Cox also had 7 TFLs, 14 QB hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He really did play well.

Sure, we have seen some signs of decline from Cox, which is pretty natural for a guy who has played as much as he has. Cox has played in 173 career regular season games and has been on the field for 8,518 snaps in his career. The only defensive linemen who have played more since 2012 are Cameron Jordan (10,062), Chandler Jones (9,198) and Ndamukong Suh (8,883), according to Stathead.

Not to mention that Cox has played through just about every injury you can think of during his career. That’s a lot of wear and tear on a defensive tackle.

During this past offseason, Cox had other offers and had the opportunity to leave Philadelphia after 11 season but instead took a one-year, $10 million contract to return for his 12th season with the Eagles. That makes him the 25th-highest paid interior defensive tackle in the NFL, which is a relatively solid value for the Eagles if he plays as well again in 2023.

While Cox returned, the Eagles lost Javon Hargrave to the 49ers in free agency. But they replaced him when they drafted Jalen Carter with the No. 9 overall pick. A big part of Cox’s legacy will be helping to bring along Carter and Jordan Davis. But the Eagles also need Cox to continue to play well too.

Because despite the addition of Carter, Cox is still expected to be a starter for Sean Desai’s defense in 2023. And if Cox can play at the same level he did in 2022, it would really help.

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