Beginning a new series this week, we will begin to take a look at the players who impact will be the most important on the Philadelphia Eagles season. Starting here at number ten, we will gradually progress our way to number one. For this series, we will take a look at the players who I feel will be important to any success the Eagles have this season.
Starting off this series with a big name, we will take a look at the highly paid and well-known defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox. A major force in both stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback, Cox will need to set the tone this season for the Eagles to have success on defense. After all, success on defense will almost certainly determine how far Philly can progress this season.
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Seeing a major regression last season, Fletcher Cox totaled only 43 combined tackled, 6.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Considering the youth that had been recently added to the Eagles defense this offseason, Cox will need to be a major force that sets the tone for this defense.
Another area Cox’s performance will be important is in the passing game. While Cox can be a pass rush specialist, we need to remember that the Eagles will have an extremely young secondary this season. With Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas expected to start the season as the starters at cornerback, the Eagles pass defense could be in for a long campaign.
If the Eagles pass defense struggles to contain receivers, the run defense — led by Cox — will need to step up and make offenses continue to succeed through the passing attack. Should Cox once again struggle as an overall player, this could put the Eagles in a situation where they not only struggle to defend the pass and to also defend the run at the same time.
Overall, Fletcher Cox needs to step up this season. Should he fail to do so, the Philadelphia Eagles could be in a position where there defense struggles for most of the season, putting an insurmountable amount of pressure on the Eagles offense that will likely relegate them out of the playoff hunt once again.