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Philadelphia Eagles DTs Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis ‘Shouldn’t Be On Same Team!’

Philadelphia Eagles veterans Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox are feeding off of Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis.
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PHILADELPHIA – Young guns Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, and Milton Williams are doing more than leading a Philadelphia Eagles defensive front that is one of the best in the NFL. They may very well be breathing some new life into the older legs of Fletcher Cox and Bandon Graham.

“Heck, yeah,” said Graham. “I see Fletch going out there balling because he sees those boys on his butt, and I know for me, too. Even for me being in year 14, I know I don’t have long left but I’m not going to make it easy for you, either. I’m going to be working just as hard.”

Carter, Davis, and possibly Williams, who will enter the final year of his rookie contract next season, are the future. And the future looks bright given the way they have played in such a short period of time.

“I tell them boys (Carter and Davis) keep feeding off each other, keep motivating each other, bring each other along, and follow the right ones,” said Graham. “Like I told them, they should be commanding a lot of money. They shouldn’t be on the same team, but (general manager) Howie (Roseman) is a magician. He made it work.”

Graham is well into his 14th season after being taken in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, which ties him with legend Chuck Bednarik for the most seasons played with the Eagles. If Graham returns to Philly, and that is a big if, the record will be his.

As it is, Graham will tie David Akers (1999-2010) for the most regular-season appearances in team history at 188 when the Eagles travel to Kansas City for a Super Bowl LVII rematch against the Chiefs on Monday night.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham sacked Dak Prescott 1.5 times in Week 9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Brandon Graham sacking Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Who saw this coming when Graham was labeled a bust so early in his career? 

He is one of just two players still standing in the league that was taken in the first round 13 years ago, a first round that included Tim Tebow and Patrick Robinson, the of whom would later become one of the heroes of the Eagles' 2017 NFC Championship Game rout of the Minnesota Vikings.

San Francisco 49ers tackle Trent Williams is the other still playing from that draft who was selected in the first round.

Cox, a first-round pick in 2012, is one of just four players from a draft that saw Brandon Weeden go in the first round. Those still playing in addition to Cox are Ryan Tannehill, Stephon Gilmore, and Harrison Smith.

The Eagles defensive tackle is penning another standout chapter in a storied career. He is on pace to take his most snaps since 2019 when he was 29 and played 78 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. He will turn 33 next month, on Dec. 13, and he’s logged 73 percent.

The Eagles don’t necessarily need him to have such a large quantity of snaps with the young guns playing so well. Still, Cox is playing at a high level.

Cox is on a year-to-year contract at this point in his career, and while some may have thought this would be the final year for him in Philly, his play has warranted bringing him back for another season. His 66.5 career sacks are more than any other defensive tackle in Eagles history – by a lot. The next closest to him is Andy Harmon, who had 39.5.

There may never again be another player to wear the No. 91 jersey for the Eagles. The same could be said for Graham and his No. 55. Both numbers could be retired when the players decide to hang it up. 

When that day comes, the young guns may very well be the old guys. Until then, Graham continues to feed off their energy.

“They motivate me, though because I know they’re the ones up and coming, but I want to show them how you practice, how you do stuff, just how you’re supposed to take care of your business so when I come back I’m like, ‘Hey, I hope you boys are doing the same thing I was doing, passing it on, because that’s the only way you’re going to be better,’” he said. 

“Open your heart and want to see somebody else win, too, because when they win, you win, too.”