Fletcher Cox’s chase for hardware in the form of a Defensive Player of the Year Award means more than just creating pressures and taking down quarterbacks. Granted, he’s quite excellent at doing that too. Per Pro Football Focus, he’s tied for most pressures (13) in the league with Minnesota Vikings’ defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and is terrorizing opposing offensive lines. He also has to contribute in the run game and be sure as a tackler, which PFF has pointed out is not a problem for Cox.
“Eagles star defensive interior Fletcher Cox has carried his NFL-high streak of snaps played without missing a tackle into the 2018 season. He has now played 718 defensive snaps without recorded a missed tackle through Week 2 of the 2018 season.” - PFF
That’s a pretty niche stat, but points to Cox’s dominant overall game. He’s been the biggest bright spot on a defense that struggled to slow down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ attack and his contributions have helped lessen the loss of injured defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. He’s also masked a problem on defense that has lacked edge pressure outside of the consistent performance of Chris Long.
His tackles have come in clutch moments too, including a massive stop on 2nd & 1 on the Atlanta Falcons’ first red zone trip in Week 1.
Fletcher Cox, lined up over the right tackle, dude is going to have a monster season. pic.twitter.com/1lphGiDaVU— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) September 8, 2018
He continued his stellar play in Week 2 against the Buccaneers, which you may have missed while watching the secondary get carved up by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Totaling 6 pressures on the day, Cox also contributed once more against the run by leading a unit that only allowed two successful runs in the entire second half.
Did it in the run game too, working against center Ryan Jensen as a 0-tech - pic.twitter.com/DpU2UoIbRS— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) September 18, 2018
There’s a long season ahead, but the pass rushing/run stopping/tackling machine that is Fletcher Cox shows no signs of slowing down. Having already batted aside above average talent like the Falcons’ Alex Mack and the Buccaneers’ Ryan Jensen, he now sets his sights on Indianapolis Colts’ center Ryan Kelly. Perhaps rookie guard and man-child Quenton Nelson will get in on the action too. Won’t that be fun?