5 Philadelphia Eagles who should bounce back during 2020’s NFL season

Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

player. 54. . . . Fletcher Cox. 1

The Philadelphia Eagles’ best player, all of a sudden, has something to prove.

Let’s be honest for a second and take our emotions out of the argument. We all love Fletcher Cox, but last season, he made the Pro Bowl because of name recognition and his reputation. No long returns off of laterals from Harrison Smith will change that.

We get it. Last season, the man that was supposed to be his running mate, Malik Jackson, suffered a season-ending injury in Philly’s first regular-season game. That meant the Eagles’ defensive tackle rotation would earn its money with Cox, Hassan Ridgeway, and Timmy Jernigan handling the bulk of the duty. You don’t have to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL to know that the gameplan for every team the Eagles faced would be simple, double-team “91”.

To some, that’s a very good explanation. To others, it’s an excuse, but five tackles for a loss of yardage and 3.5 sacks do not a Pro Bowler make. Cox is too talented a player to produce those types of numbers regardless of the circumstances.

Sure, anyone can see why his 2019 statistics didn’t meet the standards Eagles fans for him or the ones he has for himself, but with the return of Malik Jackson and the addition of Javon Hargrave during the most recent offseason, 2020 should be another huge year for the man widely seen as the Eagles’ best player and the second-best defensive tackle in all of pro football (if you haven’t placed the Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones ahead of him.

If Philly gets nice production out of Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett and one or two of the Eagles reserves at the defensive end position can emerge, this Eagles front four can be scary good. It all starts with “91” though. He’s the sparkplug. He’s the key.