Early in the season, Fletcher Cox made headlines by claiming that he was tired of being overlooked as one of the best at his position and wanted to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
While he may not be in line for the award, he has certainly made a case for himself and made sure to end the regular season on a high note. For the second time in his career, the tackle has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Halfway through the season, Cox was rated as the second-best player in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. He trailed only fellow defensive tackle Aaron Donald at that point.
While Cox is no longer ranked as the second best overall (he was leaped by safety Eddie Jackson, for example), he is still in the top five. Adding this accolade will only help him.
Cox registered four tackles and three sacks in week 17. His season totals come out to 46 tackles, 34 QB hits, 10.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a defended pass.
Cox has also really turned up the heat since the line got four solid rushers on it. With Jim Schwartz realizing that Ngata playing nearly every snap is pointless, he began to employ Michael Bennett on the inside much more frequently, making the line have four solid rushers instead of three. Combine that with the return of Timmy Jernigan and Cox has received far less attention than he had previously.
It has showed, with Cox leading the league in pressures since then and earning himself a comfortable second place in the season rankings.
Fletcher Cox was the NFL leader in total pressures over the final four weeks of the season. pic.twitter.com/TMUBXGzCX0— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 1, 2019
Pressure leaders in the NFL this season. pic.twitter.com/Vyc3Erf1bY— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 1, 2019
Additionally, Cox was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career this season and was selected to the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team again this season.
Only time will tell if Cox will be able to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, but he is certainly going to continue to rack up the accolades if he continues to play at the level he has the past few seasons.