Eagles great Fletcher Cox announces retirement from Philadelphia NFL – NBC Sports

Longtime Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday afternoon after 12 seasons in the league and with the Eagles.

Cox, 33, was a first-round pick out of Mississippi State and went on to become one of the greatest players in franchise history.

On locker cleanout day in January, Cox said he hadn't made a decision yet but had completely cleaned out his locker stall on the Novacare campus.

“You see where the chips fall,” Cox said in January. “Obviously, they've developed some young talent and they're really good. They've come a long way since they've been here. Jordan (Davis) and Jalen (Carter), they've done a really good job of taking it upon themselves to learn the game and learn to be a pro.

In his 12-year career, Cox played in 188 games with 182 starts and finished with 70 sacks, 88 tackles for loss, 16 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries and over 500 combined tackles. He was also an integral part of two Super Bowl teams and played a large part in the Super Bowl LII victory to win the 2017 season.

Cox was named a Pro Bowler for six consecutive seasons from 2015-2020 and was a first-team All-Pro in 2018. He was also named a second-team All-Pro three times and an NFL All-American. -Team of the Decade for the 2010s.

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie issued a lengthy statement regarding Cox's retirement:

“From the time he was drafted with the 12th overall pick in 2012 until his final game, Fletcher Cox was a dominant force on our defensive line. A six-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, and member of the 2010s All-Decade Team, Fletcher was an all-time A great Eagle whose contributions made him one of the most popular defensive tackles of a generation and made him a strong case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“During his 12-year career, Fletcher racked up the most sacks and games played by a defensive player in franchise history and was a defensive centerpiece that helped deliver the city of Philadelphia its first Super Bowl championship. Beyond his statistical accolades, any opposing coach, until they figure out how to deal with No. 91 , will tell you they can't begin their game planning. Whether he was wreaking havoc in the backfield or taking on double teams for wins, Fletcher thrived. He played every style of defense during his career. He was an incredibly tough and durable player who did his best for his teammates week in and week out. Kept the body in line. You could always count on him to set the tone on game days. A thrilling motivational speech or a big play at a pivotal moment.

“What made Fletcher truly special was that his influence extended even further behind the scenes. The six-time captain was a key figure in establishing a championship culture in our building. As badass as he was on the field, he was a mastermind. Over the years he served as a big brother and mentor to many young players. He had a lot of respect for himself and the legacy he would one day leave behind, and it was reflected in the way he set the standard every day, whether on the practice field or in the locker room.

“We are incredibly grateful for all that he has provided to our company and the city of Philadelphia over the years, and we wish him the best as he embarks on his future.”

Only Chuck Bednarik (8), Brian Dawkins (7), Jason Peters (7), Reggie White (7) and Jason Kelce (7) in franchise history have more Pro Bowls than Cox's six as a member of the Eagles.

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And Cox is fifth on the Eagles' all-time sacks list with 70, the most among all defensive tackles. He trails Reggie White (124), Trent Cole (85 1/2), Clyde Simmons (76) and Brandon Graham (73).

His 188 career regular season games are second only to his longtime teammate Graham, who played in 195 by an Eagles defensive end. During his career, Cox was incredibly durable. The Eagles relied on him week in and week out.

In the 2010s, Cox was one of two players in the league with 45+ sacks and 10+ forced fumbles. The other is three-time defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

The biggest hint that Cox was thinking about retiring this season came from an emotional Davis on cleanout day.

“I knew it was coming, but I didn't know it would come this way,” Davis said. “When you watch a guy grow up, he's like your hero. I had the opportunity to work with him every day. Very lucky. And to watch him walk away. Granted, he left on his own terms. Better than a lot of people say.

“But it hurts to see him walk away. It hurts. And it hurts me to not be able to send him off the right way. We're not sending him off to ride off into the sunset, it's like we've crashed and burned. And he's got to walk out, he's got to get out, he's got to crawl out. want

Like Kelce earlier this season, Cox is walking away from the game after playing well in 2023. Despite turning 33 in his final NFL season, Cox still started 15 games and had 5 sacks, 17 QB hits, 3 TFLs and 33 combined tackles.

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Cox finished his career as a team captain for six consecutive seasons and grew into his role as a leader later in his career, helping former safety Malcolm Jenkins take over after his departure following the 2019 season.

Although Cox has spent most of his adult life as a football player, he has interests outside of the game. He had a love for cars and bought a drag racing team that competed across the country. He owns a 1,500 acre ranch in Jacksboro, Texas called the “Shady Trail Ranch”.

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