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Eagles Stay or Go 2024: Will Fletcher Cox be back for another season?

Eagles Stay or Go 2024: Will Fletcher Cox be back for another season? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro bring back Stay or Go in 2024, trying to figure out the futures of every Eagles player on the roster.

We already looked at quarterback, running back, receiver, tight end, interior offensive line, offensive tackle and specialists.

Up today: Defensive tackle

Thomas Booker

Roob: I really want to see Booker in training camp because he’s a huge dude who the Texans liked enough to draft in the fifth round in 2022. Booker didn’t get to Philly until camp was over this past summer, so we never got to see him practice. Depending what happens with Fletcher Cox there could be a roster spot for a guy like Booker. He’s a longshot no doubt but an intriguing guy worth a good look in camp.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: The Eagles liked Booker enough to keep him on their practice squad all season after he was waived by the Texans at final cuts but we didn’t see him in any game action and he arrived after training camp so we don’t have a lot to go on here. As a rookie fifth-round pick out of Stanford, Booker played in 10 games and started one and had 15 tackles, half a sack and five pressures. Booker (6-3, 301) will have an opportunity in training camp but he’ll have to do an awful lot to earn a roster spot.

Verdict: Goes

Jalen Carter

Roob: Carter looked like an All-Pro the first half of the season and although he still played well the second half, he did fade significantly. He was still good enough to finish second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, but the talent is there for Carter to be a Pro Bowler and considering that Aaron Donald is 32 and Chris Jones is 29 the All-Pro team is within reach as well. He’s got the tools to be that good. Carter had the luxury of mentorship from Fletcher Cox this year and Cox was incredibly generous sharing his time and knowledge with all the young linemen. But it’s now up to Carter to do what it takes this offseason to be able to play a full season at the same level he played half a season.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: After watching the first half of the season, it seemed like Carter was going to cruise to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award but he really fell off down the stretch and ultimately finished second in voting behind Will Anderson. Obviously, Carter needs to be more consistent in Year 2 but there’s no questioning his talent. Carter wasn’t just a great rookie early in the season; he was looking like one of the best defensive tackles in the league in his first handful of NFL games, which is really tough to do. Carter will obviously be here in 2024 and

Verdict: Stays

Fletcher Cox

Roob: In his 12th season and 32 years old – he turned 33 late in the season – Cox was the Eagles’ most consistent defensive player and possibly their defensive MVP. That’s probably not ideal, but it speaks highly of Cox and his work ethic and approach to the game. He’s not the player he was during his Pro Bowl stretch from 2015 through 2020 but he’s still a top-10 interior lineman in the NFL. He’s also a free agent, and unlike guys like Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, there’s a very real chance he’ll finish his career elsewhere. Top-10 linemen are making north of $20 million per year and while Cox may give the Eagles a little bit of a hometown discount, I’m not sure the Eagles want to pay that kind of money for a guy at his age who should be their third defensive tackle. Cox is an all-time Philadelphia Eagle and he did everything he could to keep this thing together when it began falling apart. But I think it’s more likely than not that he’s somewhere else when camp rolls around.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: The Eagles would be a better team in 2024 if they can keep Cox. Because even during a season where he turned 33, Cox was still one of their best and most consistent players. And he’s really turned into a heck of a leader for the Eagles over the last few seasons. While he’s no longer the All-Pro version of himself, Cox is still a really good player and we saw that during this past season. I can’t get over the way Jordan Davis talked about Cox at locker cleanout day. Davis basically talked about Cox as if he was already gone and a few lockers down, Cox’s stall was completely cleaned out in a way I haven’t seen before. Cox is an all-timer and if it works out for him and the team to have him back next season, it’s a solution worth figuring out. But for now, I think Cox is moving on to retirement or another team.

Verdict: Goes

Jordan Davis

Roob: Like Carter, his best friend and college teammate Davis really tailed off the second half of the season, and his decline was even more pronounced than Carter’s. Davis spoke after the season about learning to take better care of himself and figuring out how to play through the minor injuries that all NFL players deal with during a long season. Davis is so talented, but he’s going into Year 3 now and he’s got a lot to figure out over the next five months to live up to expectations as the player the Eagles selected 13th overall in 2022.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: The Eagles need more from Davis. He’s set to enter Year 3 of his NFL career and while he’s been OK in the first two seasons, he hasn’t lived up to his status as a first-round pick. And he hasn’t looked like the type of cornerstone player the Eagles thought they were getting back in the 2022 draft. Davis and Carter are supposed to be the future of the defensive tackle position in Philadelphia and the 2024 season is an extremely important season for both of them. Davis needs to make sure he can survive and thrive in a lengthy NFL season and we just haven’t seen that from him through two years. He’ll obviously be here this season but how he performs in 2024 will go a long way in determining his NFL future.

Verdict: Stays

Noah Elliss

Roob: Ellis has been on and off the Eagles’ practice squad the last couple years but has never gotten into a game, and it’s hard to imagine him finding his way onto the 53 without a flurry of injuries.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: Elliss missed his entire rookie season in the NFI list and then was on the practice squad for a lot of last season. When the Eagles signed Elliss as a UDFA in 2022, I was excited to see him play. He has a prototypical nose tackle body (6-4, 346) but we haven’t really seen much.

Verdict: Goes

Moro Ojomo

Roob: I would have liked to have seen a little more Ojomo, but he only played 18 defensive snaps until Week 17. I thought he did some good things in training camp when he was healthy and I do think there’s a role on defense for a guy with his length and athleticism. As a 7th-round pick he won’t get any breaks, but depending on who the Eagles bring in, I think he’s got a chance to be a factor.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: During his rookie training camp, Ojomo really began to turn some heads but he didn’t get many opportunities to play during his rookie season. He played a grand total 68 defensive snaps last season. As a seventh-round pick without much to show from his rookie season, there’s no guarantee Ojomo is on the roster this season. But I think he deserves that shot and probably some more playing time too, especially if the Eagles are going with a youth movement at the position.

Verdict: Stays

Marlon Tuipulotu

Roob: In his third year, Tuipulotu had a few good moments this past year – a couple sacks, three tackles for loss, including two in garbage time in the season-ending loss to the Giants. He’s carved out a nice career for himself after getting drafted in the sixth round in 2021, I just think the Eagles need to get better up front than Marlon Tuipulotu, who’s played almost 400 snaps the last two years.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: We saw some real improvement from Tuipulotu in the third year of his career. He played in 14 games, had a couple sacks and showed some ability to get upfield a bit more. He’s not a cornerstone guy and he’s far from guaranteed to have a roster spot guaranteed but he’s under contract and I think he’ll be back for another season.

Verdict: Stays

Milton Williams

Roob: Williams wasn’t quite as impactful in 2023 as he was in 2022, and he played a lot – only 25 fewer snaps than Davis and 69 fewer than Carter. For that much playing time – about 30 snaps per game – you’d like a little more production. Williams will be here, but you hope the coaching changes help him regain his form of two years ago, especially if Cox is gone.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: After three years in the NFL, we know Williams is just a good player. He hasn’t become a star but he’s just been solid. The former third-round pick didn’t fill up the stat sheet in 2023 and had just a half a sack. But I thought he continued to improve in some other areas. Believe it or not, Williams actually started 10 games in 2023. He’s entering the final year of his contract in 2024 and has a chance to make himself some real money with a big season.

Verdict: Stays

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