Fletcher Cox’s quest for hardware starts hot Fletcher Cox’s quest for recognition

Debate surrounding the Defensive Player of the Year Award is months away Cheap Jordan Hicks Jersey , but he’s already building his resume for when the time comes. In the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Cox showcased the quality of play that he’ll need to carry him to the award ceremony.VS. THE RUN...There’s plenty to talk about regarding Cox’s pass rush performance, but it was in the run game where he made his presence felt early in the game.That’s a 310-pound man nimble enough to absorb a cut block, pop up and make a play at the goal-line from across the formation. That’s special stuff. Without the cat-like quickness of the big man, it’s not a sure thing that Derek Barnett is able to finish this rep despite being in good position after spinning off his block.EXTRA ATTENTION...There’s always been talk about Cox’s sack numbers not being representative of his game as a whole. Cox supporters will point to how much attention he garners from the opposing offensive line; and they’re not wrong.I charted all 46 of his pass rush snaps and counted each time he was doubled or received a slide his way and took meaningful contact from a second blocker. These are not official numbers by any means, but based on what I saw, Cox was blocked by more than one lineman 27 times. TWENTY. SEVEN.What that type of gravitational pull allows you to do as a defense is predict with accuracy where the pass protection slide will go. That was the case in the Super Bowl when Brandon Graham was allowed to rush one-on-one with guard Shaq Mason. The Eagles knew if Cox played over the guard he would get a center sliding his way, which cleared room Graham on a plus match-up.The same scenario played out over and over against the Falcons. One beneficiary of this offensive tendency was Jordan Hicks, who came flying through on a blitz and made short work of running back Devonta Freeman.ASKING WHY...As a defensive linemen, it’s easy to fire off the ball Youth Mike Wallace Jersey , blow by your man and, without thinking, attack up-field believing you’ve got a free run for a sack. But as a defensive lineman, if you find yourself in that situation, you have to ask why. Why are you being given a free run? In most cases, it’s because you’re being tricked.What makes linemen like Cox (and Grady Jarrett) stand out on tape is their ability to quickly process the action around them and get themselves into the correct spot. They don’t take the bait because they ask why.Cox isn’t done with his initial move before he realizes something is askew. Given all the attention being thrown his way, for him to receive such gigantic runway is a big flag. Plus, Freeman is leaking out to the flats, another flag. Cox’s mental processing is an underrated aspect to his game.UNBLOCKABLE...According to Pro Football Focus, Cox registered 7 pressures Color Rush Jalen Mills Jersey , tied with Minnesota Vikings’ Sheldon Richardson for most among interior linemen in Week 1. Remember, he received extra attention on 27 of those 46 snaps. When he was singled up, he looked unstoppable for much of the game.This isn’t even Cox’s best pass rush of the game; far from it actually. Still, the pure strength on display to push a pocket even when his initial move stalls out it impressive.When he wins immediately, that’s when things get scary for a quarterback.This sack came on 3rd & 5 with the Eagles up 4 points early in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately it was wiped out due to Barnett lining up offsides, but from an evaluation standpoint that has no impact on Cox.Alex Mack is a former first round pick and five-time Pro Bowler. Cox beat him clean when he got his opportunities. First-step quickness and violent hands are his calling card, and they showed up in this match-up all game.The box score shows 1 sack, PFF shows 7 pressures, and that’s not even the whole story. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz seems willing to aid Cox in his quest, giving him an abnormally high 93% of the teams’ defensive snaps. If he continues at this usage and quality of play Youth Jay Ajayi Jersey , the sacks and pressures will stack up and Cox will have his name firmly in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Man, what a great bye week for the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only did the Washington Redskins get blown out on Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys also lost on Monday Night Football to the Tennessee Titans. Perfect.The Cowboys are now 3-5 through their first eight games. Dallas has NEVER made the playoffs after starting the season with that record. But hey, at least they have a good draft pick to look forward to! Oh, wait, they foolishly traded that for Amari Cooper. Too bad that selection would be No. 10 overall if the season ended today.Anyway, let’s take an updated look at the NFC East standings:1) Washington Redskins: 5-3 overall (2-0 in division games)2) Philadelphia Eagles: 4-4 overall (1-0 in division games)3) Dallas Cowboys: 3-5 overall (1-1 in division games)4) New York Giants: 1-7 overall (0-3 in division games)The Eagles will have a chance to really bury the Cowboys with Dallas coming to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday. The road team will obviously be at a rest disadvantage given that they just played on Monday night and the Eagles are coming off their bye.For what it’s worth, the Eagles opened as 4.5 home favorites over Dallas this weekend. That line has already jumped to the Eagles being favored by seven points in some places. Beating the Cowboys is the perfect way for the Eagles to get the second half of their 2018 schedule off to a great start. It’s time for the reigning Super Bowl champions to step up and take back the NFC East.
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