Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox named the second best pass rusher in the NFL

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

After another Pro Bowl season, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has been named the second best pass rusher in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.

Hey Philadelphia Eagles fans, did you know Fletcher Cox is a beast?

Yeah? Good

Well, according to Pro Football Focus, Cox actually graded out as the second-best pass rusher in the entire league, recording an insane 90.3 pass rushing grade in 2017, by far the best grade of his career.

Now that’s an accomplishment.

While some (probably Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins fans) will paint 2017 as a down year for the three-time Pro Bowler, as he only recorded 6.5 sacks and 24 tackles in 17 games of action for the Birds, the numbers don’t tell the full story.

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Serving as the lynchpin of Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 wide-nine defensive scheme, Cox has spent the last two season being double-teamed on virtually every snap by interior offensive lineman, unselfishly sacrificing his numbers to give his teammates better, one-on-one looks.

For Cox, all that matters is winning ball games.

In Schwartz’s attacking scheme, getting pressure from just four down lineman is essential to the defense’s success. Without a player like Cox in the middle, clogging up running lanes and collapsing the pocket, Schwartz would be forced to blitz additional defenders to get pressure on the quarterback, effectively weakening the team’s coverage unit.

Cox is the type of player who forces an offensive coordinator to change their entire game plan. That’s pretty rare.

Though the Eagles did win the two games he missed in 2017 with ease, outscoring the Los Angeles Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals by a combined score of 60-31, Cox was paramount to the team’s success down the stretch, recording 4.5 of his 6.5 sacks in the final six games of the season. This, when coupled with a clutch sack on Matt Ryan in the team’s 15-10 playoff victory essentially cemented Cox’s gigantic footstep on the season and helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Hopefully, Cox can follow it up in 2018.

With Timmy Jernigan expected to miss the first two-three months of the season thanks to an offseason surgery, Cox will once again be forced to take on a major load without his tackle partner, and use his entire bag of tricks to keep Philly’s line potent in 2018.

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But for now, Cox deserves the accolades he’s received so far this offseason, and likely will continue to for years to come.