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Eagles 6-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announces his retirement after 12 seasons

FILE - Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) leaves the field after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. Eagles six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cox announced his retirement on Sunday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announced his retirement on Sunday.

Cox, a first-round pick in 2012, played all 12 of his seasons in Philadelphia and holds the franchise record for sacks (70) by a defensive tackle, trailing only Reggie White, Trent Cole, Clyde Simmons and Brandon Graham in career sacks.

He joins six-time All-Pro center Jason Kelce in retirement. Graham signed a one-year deal on Saturday to return to the Eagles for his 15th season.

“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 wrote on Instagram.

Cox was selected No. 12 overall in 2012 in Andy Reid’s last season in Philadelphia. He helped the Eagles beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2017 season and had his best year in 2018 when he was a first-team All-Pro.

“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.”

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