Pair of Eagles Land on All-30-and-Over Defensive Team
When it comes to younger players, the Eagles defense really doesn't have a guy that stands out.
Derek Barnett was drafted with the 14th pick in the first-round and is just 25-years old, and while he has shown flashes, he hasn't really taken that next step towards being a consistent player.
However when it comes to older veterans, the Eagles do have some players who they can still count on to get the job done.
Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports and 973espn.com has a piece looking at the top players 30-and-Over, putting together his All-30-and-Over Defensive Team. The criteria was heavily weighted on your 2020 performance, and while past success was factored in, it was not weighed as heavily as the 2020 season.
Graham, 33, made his first Pro Bowl with eight sacks, 46 total tackles, including 13 for loss and two forced fumbles in 2020.
Talk about a player that gets better with age. Graham has become one of the most consistent edge rushers in the NFL, despite never recording a double-digit sack season. He was still very good in 2020, finishing with 46 tackles, eight sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 57 pressures -- 19 of which came on third down. Only three players in the NFL had eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles in 2020: T.J. Watt, Haason Reddick, and Graham -- which is pretty elite company.
A reliable edge rusher, Graham has never missed a game in his 30s.
Graham, was paired with Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, 32, on this All-30-and-Over Defensive Team as first-team members.
Cox, 30, is another veteran who stood out in 2020, causing havoc up the middle with 46 pressures and 6.5 sacks last season.
If it wasn't for Donald, Cox would have been considered the best defensive tackle in football for a few years. The Eagles defensive tackle is still very good. Off his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, Cox finished with just 46 pressures, but was sixth among defensive tackles with 6.5 sacks and his nine quarterback hits were good for sixth at his position.
Cox still commands the double team frequently and continues to be one of the top run-stopping defensive tackles in the game.
Cox was paired with Rams tackle Aaron Donald, who is also 30 years old, as the top two tackles 30 or older.
One Eagles defender who is 30 but did not appear on the first or second team was cornerback Darius Slay. Many felt that Slay had a down year, but he was still ranked the No. 9 overall cornerback in football recently by an ESPN survey of over 50 scouts, executives, players and coaches.
The two corners that made the list ahead of Slay on the first team were New England's Stephon Gilmore and Pittsburgh's Joe Haden. On the second team Malcolm Butler of the Cardinals and Dre Kirkpatrick, who is a free agent made the list ahead of Slay.
A pair of former Eagles also made the list at safety, including Malcolm Jenkins, 33, and former Chip Kelly draft pick Jordan Poyer, 30, of the Buffalo Bills, who both made the first-team.
Don't be discouraged that the Eagles have older players, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last season and had linebacker Lavonte David, 31, on the first-team and Jason Pierre-Paul, 32, and Ndamukong Suh, 34 on the second-team.
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