How Fletcher Cox Helped The Eagles Even From The Sidelines
Fletcher Cox watched from the sideline as Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter carried the load on the defensive front in his place. The Philadelphia Eagles escaped with a 37-34 victory in Week 12.
The young Georgia Bulldogs have become the center of a stout Philadelphia defensive front that’s especially difficult against the run. They held strong against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in overtime to give Jalen Hurts and the offense the chance to win.
Cox might’ve missed most of the game with a groin injury. Don’t forget to give him the assist on their success though.
Fletcher Cox Passing The Torch
NFL analysts speak constantly about the leadership the Eagles have in their locker room. Cox, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, and Jason Kelce have withstood the test of time through different eras with the franchise.
Howie Roseman used first-round picks on defensive tackles in consecutive drafts in 2022 and 2023. It then became obvious that Cox would eventually pass the torch. However, there were serious character concerns about Carter. Would the leadership in the locker room be enough to offset the issues?
Tim McManus spoke in September on 97.5 The Fanatic about an element of Carter’s progress that won’t get the most publicity.
“He (Cox) really took Carter under his wing instantly. I think he sees it maybe as part of his legacy is to kind of pass that torch, and Carter credited Cox for, even during their down time, calling him every day (and) making sure he’s at the right weight, making sure he’s doing the right things. When you see Carter excel, it needs to be recognized that Cox is a part of that as well.” –Tim McManus
John Kincade also spoke after the 2022 NFL Draft about how Georgia football sources were confident that a positive NFL environment would benefit Davis with dietary and conditioning advantages.
Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis
Milton Williams missed the game against Buffalo with a concussion. Cox left the game in the second quarter. Marlon Tuipulotu filled in with a solid reserve effort. However, the usual strength of the defensive tackle rotation turned into reliance on Carter and Davis.
Jalen Carter showed why he is the frontrunner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. His blocked field goal in the second quarter kept the game within reach when the Eagles were struggling offensively. He even lined up on the edge as a defensive end in some packages to help with the thinning defensive line depth.
Jordan Davis fought the fatigue in overtime to make two critical stops in the running game. He even chased down Josh Allen and kept the elusive quarterback to a three-yard gain that helped hold Buffalo to a field goal.
The former college teammates led an absolute feast on James Cook inside the Buffalo 5-yard line during the second quarter.
Eagles rookie Jalen Carter beats his block and helps come up with the TFL here. Former Georgia teammate Jordan Davis destroys a few blocks too.— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) November 26, 2023
Carter continues to look like the Defensive Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/ZaYOlrqw7w
Credit Fletcher Cox
Are Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis in good enough shape to last through overtime on a depleted defensive line without the veteran leader Fletcher Cox checking up on them? We’ll never know, but it’s safe to say 300+-pound men benefit from paying attention to their diets.
Cox isn’t the beloved man of the people like Kelce. He doesn’t have the most eccentric personality like Graham, and he hasn’t gotten the same praise for playing through injuries as Johnson has.
However, he was the best player at his position on the Super Bowl LII champions, and he’s one of the best defensive linemen in Eagles history.
His protegees Carter and Davis wouldn’t be as successful at the NFL level without the proper leadership.
His willingness to take the young guys under his wing should cement his legacy as an all-time beloved Eagle, and fans should hope he jumps right back into the rotation next week against the San Francisco 49ers.