This is our first in a series of stories looking at the Hall of Fame chances of current or recent Eagles who are still active in the NFL.
Today: Fletcher Cox
Saturday, July 20: Zach Ertz
Sunday, July 21: DeSean Jackson
Monday, July 22: Jason Kelce
Tuesday, July 23: LeSean McCoy
Wednesday, July 24: Jason Peters
Thursday, July 25: Darren Sproles
Numbers: Has 44 ½ sacks in 109 career games, ninth-most among active NFL defensive tackles.
Postseason numbers: Cox had one sack during the 2017 Super Bowl run but had six quarterback hits in the three playoff games.
Honors: Cox has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four years and this past season was a first-team all-pro for the first time.
Favorite stat: Cox is only the ninth Eagle in franchise history to make four Pro Bowls before his 29th birthday and the first defensive lineman to do it since Reggie White.
Records and rankings
• Cox is sixth in franchise history in sacks. This past season he passed Andy Harmon (39 ½) for the most sacks in Eagles history by an interior lineman.
• Cox’s 10 ½ sacks last year are third-most in Eagles history by a defensive lineman, behind only Harmon in both 1993 (11 ½) and 1995 (11.0).
• This past season he became only the second player the Eagles have drafted since 1992 with double-digit sacks in a season. The other is Trent Cole.
Cox is one of only four defensive linemen to make the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons. The others are defensive tackles Geno Atkins of the Bengals, Jurrell Casey of the Titans and Aaron Donald of the Rams.
• Only seven Eagles in history have longer streaks of Pro Bowls than Cox: White (7), Pete Pihos (6) and Chuck Bednarik, Donovan McNabb, Tommy McDonald, Mike Quick and Troy Vincent (5 each). White is the only defensive lineman in Eagles history who was picked to more Pro Bowls.
Cox is at the same point now that Jason Peters was in his prime. He’s so dominating that he’s going to make the Pro Bowl every year that he’s healthy.
Cox is in his prime right now and let’s conservatively give him three more Pro Bowls. That would give him seven in his career, and taking a look at the 15 tackles in NFL history who made seven Pro Bowls, 13 of the 14 who are eligible have already been enshrined in Canton.
He’s already won a Super Bowl, made four Pro Bowls, been an all-pro and piled up 44 ½ sacks, and he’s only 28 and still getting better. And the Hall of Fame voters probably won’t consider it, but Cox is a beast against the run, as good a run stopper as we’ve seen in an Eagles uniform.
The biggest thing working against Cox is Aaron Donald, who is the best tackle in the game. Donald already has 59 ½ sacks in just five years, including 20 ½ last year. If the voters look back 10 years from now they may conclude that Donald was the elite defensive tackle of this generation and hold that against Cox.
But Cox is on his way to becoming an all-timer in his own right, and if he keeps stringing together Pro Bowl seasons and adds a couple more all-pro first-team honors it’s going to be impossible to keep him out of Canton.
Verdict: Will be a Hall of Famer.
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