Philadelphia Eagles: Top 3 reasons Fletcher Cox can win Defensive MVP

Philadelphia Eagles, Fletcher Cox #91 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles, Fletcher Cox #91 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Javon Hargrave
Javon Hargrave will be playing alongside Fletcher Cox (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

1. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Hargrave to a three-year, $39 million deal in March. One can only imagine what’s in store.

Newly added Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave is a straight bruiser that weighs in at over 300 pounds, He may not possess the same speed that Cox does, but he makes up for it with brute strength. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a lot of depth along the defensive line last year which limited Hargrave’s playing time, but with more snaps and more experience, the sky is truly the limit for the former Steeler and one of the newest Eagles.

But, why does this help Fletcher Cox? Here’s the answer. Cox was doubled on 36 percent of his on-field snaps last season. No, that isn’t a typo. That’s 799 snaps and 287 double teams.

To put things into perspective, Aaron Donald, a former defensive player of the year and one of the best players in the NFL, was only doubled on 34 percent of his snaps.  Getting doubled this many times isn’t just restraining. It’s exhausting. Then, there’s this. Cox was never one-hundred percent healthy and getting double-teamed as often as he did only added fuel to that fire.

With Hargrave in Philadelphia, teams won’t be able to double Cox as often. Doubling Cox would leave Hargrave in a lot of one-on-one situations. That’s scary enough, but Philadelphia also has Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, and other talented pass rushers on the roster. Cox will still get doubled at a high rate, but that percentage will be significantly less than what it was in 2019. That’s all Cox needs for success. He has the talent to win a one-on-one matchup most of the time, and Eagles fans have seen him toy with offensive linemen for years now.

The entire purpose of signing Malik Jackson in 2019 was to take the attention away from the Eagles’ best player and to potentially create a two-headed monster at the defensive tackle position. An injury to Jackson made what Philly had at the position seem less threatening, but it must be stated again. Jackson wasn’t the only Eagle battling injury in 2019.