September 24, 2018
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has always been a dominant player. This season, through three games, he's playing like an elite one. It started in training camp, when he seemed to have more of an edge to him, carried over into some eye-opening moments in the preseason, and has shown up on the field in the games that matter.
In the past, Cox was always very disruptive from his interior defensive line spot, but he never piled up the kinds of big numbers that catch the eye of NFL fans on a national level. This season, the stats are there, as Cox has three sacks, and at least a half sack in every game.
So why is he playing better?
"I think the biggest thing for me is that they challenge me every day, in practice and games, and I listened," Cox said. "My teammates challenged me, and I respect Chris Long so much. The thing about Chris is that he challenged me every single day. It just raises the bar for me as a player.
"When you've a guy like Chris who has been around for a long time, and this is my second year with him, he challenged me every day, and I respect it, and I accept it, and I go out on the field and show the world. "
When asked how Long challenges him, Cox suggested asking Long.
"I just talk shit to him," Long said. "I know how good he can be. I've been with some really good players before, and he's potentially as good as any of them. If you're going to be a good friend and a good teammate, you have to shoot them straight, and he knows that I'm going to always shoot him straight. I've seen a lot of football, and he can take games over."
Long has been a great addition for the Eagles, not just for his play on the field, but for his contributions off of it, and this is just one more example how.
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