Fletcher Cox has been able to transcend major playbook shifts throughout his career, and he should flourish under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
The public often slams players who lose their overall excellence after their teams undergo schematic changes, while the respect earned by players who are indeed able to transcend major playbook shifts isn't equally distributed. If it was, you'd be hearing a lot more about Cox and his ability to transition from a three-tech/nose tackle role in his rookie season of 2012 in a 4–3 base defense to Philly's multi-front 3–4 over the last three years. Early on, Cox was asked to penetrate as a one-gap tackle, and he could do that very well with his power and speed. But under Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis, the Eagles moved to a two-gap 3–4 base front with some one-gap variables, testing Cox's mettle. A lot of aggressive one-gap players find it difficult to play the waiting game as a two-gap tackle, but Cox excelled last season with a career-high 9.5 sacks and 77 total pressures. He was flexed in everywhere from end to straight-up nose tackle, and he disrupted consistently. With the hiring of new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Cox should flourish in a 4–3 more similar to his rookie campaign.