Eagles All-Pro DT Fletcher Cox retires after 12 seasons

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Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who spent his entire 12-year NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, announced his retirement on Sunday over social media.

Cox, 33, is one of the most lauded defensive players in franchise history. He helped the Eagles win their lone Super Bowl title in the 2017 season.

“After much reflection, I have made the decision to retire from the game of football,” Cox wrote in a social media post. “I gave everything I had to this team and to this city. I don’t know what’s next for me, but I do know that I’m forever grateful for my time here in Philadelphia and with the Eagles organization. Go Birds!”

He started 182 of 188 games for the Eagles. He totaled 519 tackles, including 88 tackles for loss and 70 sacks, along with 173 quarterback hits, 16 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries and three returned for touchdowns.

Last season, Cox recorded 33 tackles, five sacks, three tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits in 15 games.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl in the 2015 through 2020 seasons, and was first-team All-Pro in 2018.

He thanked family members, his girlfriend, Eagles fans, the city of Philadelphia, the organization, current and former head coaches and several teammates in his statement.

The Eagles selected him 12th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State.

“April 26, 2012 was a special day that changed my life forever when Andy Reid called me to say I would be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles,” Cox wrote. “I fulfilled a lifelong dream by making it to the NFL. But what I didn’t know at the time was how much of an honor and privilege it would be to represent the city of Philadelphia and the Eagles organization for the next 12 seasons.”

Cox set the franchise record for most sacks (70) and Pro Bowl honors (six) for a defensive tackle, and is second behind longtime teammate Brandon Graham (195) for career regular-season games.

“What made Fletcher truly special is that his influence extends even further behind the scenes,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “The six-time team captain was a key figure in establishing a championship culture in our building. As nasty as he was on the field, he was a master of his craft while also serving as a big brother and mentor to so many young players over the years.

“He had a tremendous amount of respect for the game of football and the legacy he would one day be leaving behind, and that was reflected in the way he set the standard every single day whether on the practice field or in the locker room. That standard will live on for many years thanks to his leadership and the respect he earned from everyone in the building.

“We are incredibly thankful for everything he gave to our organization and to the City of Philadelphia over the years, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on the future.”