1. This one’s obvious. Stars have to step up.
For many years, Fletcher Cox has been widely regarded as the game’s second-best defensive tackle behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams. Following the emergence of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Chris Jones, that may no longer be the case.
Regardless of what your stance is on that is, if you throw out the 2012 season. his first in the NFL and 2017’s regular season, one where he missed two regular-season games with minor injuries, 2019 was Cox’s least effective season from a statistical standpoint.
Now, some of that can be blamed on the fact that he lost his running mate Malik Jackson in Week 1. He faced a lot of double-teams and didn’t register a single sack until Week 7 as a result, but when you wear the title of “team leader” and you make north of $11 million, no one’s going to care about the explanation. All people care about is results,
When we mention stars like Cox, they get a lot of the credit when things go right. That means, whether fair or unfair, they shoulder more criticism when things go wrong.
“91” made another Pro Bowl after the 2019 regular season (and he scored a touchdown in the game), but if we’re being honest, much of the reason for his inclusion was the reputation that he had earned in previous seasons. 2019 wasn’t a great year by Cox’s standards. In 2020, he’ll not only need to return to form. He’ll need a few herculean efforts as well. There won’t be any excuses as he’ll have a returning Malik Jackson and Javon Hargrave with him in the fold.
Big-time players are supposed to make big-time plays in big games. Let’s hope Philly’s stars step up and answer the call in 2020.