Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Line More Than Fletcher Cox


Philadelphia Eagles Have One Of The Best Defensive Lines, And It’s More Just Than Fletcher Cox

Have you ever been to a magic show? The magician invariably asks his very attractive, eye-captivating assistant to join him on the stage and your eyes just follow her every movement. Within moments, she is either cut in half, pierced with a myriad of blades, or just vanished from the stage. The magician knew what he or she was doing.. and the magic trick was accomplished because you could not keep your eyes away from the assistant to notice the myriad of other suspicious events going on.


So when you take your seat in the stands or in front of the television and you watch the Eagles defense, your eyes are similarly drawn to defensive end Fletcher Cox.  He’s becoming one of the most devastating forces on an NFL defensive line, and he wears an Eagles jersey.  He’s had years of playing against Jason Peters in practice, learning from the best how to be the best.  His accomplishments on this Eagles team this season are remarkable.

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But before we go too far into the Fletcher Cox is a one-man wrecking ball, don’t get caught in the eye-captivating moves, rushes, and tackles.  The Eagles defensive line is a squad of players who work together and play in synch to blow up the opposing team’s offensive line, find the ball handler, and tackle whoever that might be.

When you look at this Philadelphia Eagles defensive line, you find the team boasts quite a fine group of young rising stars in the NFL.  Defensive end Cedric Thornton, nose tackle Bennie Logan, and defensive end Fletcher Cox anchor the line as the starters.  Rotating with those players are defensive ends Vinny Curry, Taylor Hart, Brandon Bair and nose tackle Beau Allen.  To judge this group by the performance of one player not only defeats the entire concept of “TEAM”, but is unfair to players whose role is to clog up the middle.

"“Get him uncomfortable. Hit him, hit him, hit him, hit him, hit him, even when they run the ball, hit him. I think that will shake him up a bit, make him frustrated and that’s when all quarterbacks start doing crazy things.” – Fletcher Cox discussing strategy of defending against Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton"

The media, and with them the fans, have singled out Fletcher Cox.  His performance of 2015 is good stuff.  But the leader of the defensive line in tackles right now is nose tackle Bennie Logan, who is the anchor of the defense, and routinely plows through NFL double teams to get to the ball carrier.  In 2013, he generated 27 tackles and 2 sacks.  In 2014 he generated 57 tackles and 0 sacks.  But this season he is on pace to rack up 64 tackles and 0 sacks.  This is from the nose tackle position, a spot that is virtually impossible to produce team leading statistics from. Another strong contributor on the defensive line has been Cedric Thornton.  His strongest performance occured in 2013, but even with several injuries this season, he has been a strong defender.  He forces runners back to the inside, and works well to keep the linebacker behind him free to make the play.  In fact, if you look at the defensive front, you see a turnstile of contributors from this team. [table id=72 /] The greatest hope of any Philadelphia Eagles fan is to eventually win a super bowl.  But a growing hope is for the Eagles to retain this defensive line that has become one of the most dependable, accomplished, and improving defensive fronts in this NFL. Line play is exponentially dependent upon teamwork, and this Eagles defensive line has been together under head coach Chip Kelly’s entire tenure. With expiring contracts and needs at various positions going forward, there will be a risk that the team will simply find it economically impossible to retain all players who have earned the right to play for the foreseeable future in an Eagles jersey. Make no mistake about it, this is truly an all for one one for all group on the defensive line.

But for now, a 6-7 Eagles team must control it’s own destiny beginning with an important game hosting the Arizona Cardinals.  Regardless of the outcome of that game, they must somehow prepare to face division rival Washington Redskins, and then meet the ever dangerous New York Giants.

Three games.   If this team succeeds in finding wins, we end up with a 9-7 record. But the reality is we will be marching a five game winning streak into the playoffs, two wins coming against the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

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Three games for Fletcher Cox to Hit him hit him and hit him again.  Three games for Bennie Logan to dominate the middle. Three games for Cedric Thornton to overcome an injury hampered season and re-establish his dominance in run defense. Three games for Vinny Curry to plague opposing quarterbacks. Three games for Beau Allen to clog the middle. Three games for Brandon Bair to come up big late in the game. Three games for Oregon Duck Taylor Hart to demonstrate once more how big guys beat up little guys.

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Three games for this group to show the NFL that they are not seven individuals, but one defensive line that doesn’t get pushed around. If they do that, we’ll be talking playoffs instead of an NFL draft at the end of this season. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive line is more than Fletcher Cox – and he’ll be the first one to tell you that.