Fletcher Cox has been on Super Bowl winning teams and rosters that folded under pressure during his decade-plus tenure with the Eagles. After losing their second consecutive game by 20-plus points against one of the NFL's best teams, Cox knows he's going to find out what the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles are made of.
Will this team go the route of the Super Bowl championship team in 2017 or the Chip Kelly team in 2014 that started 9-3 only to finish 10-6 and miss the playoffs? There's the challenge Cox presented to his football team.
"It's one of them things man, you know, tough, you know, two in a row. I think the biggest thing for this team now is really find out who the dudes are," Cox said, via a team transcript. "And that's always the case. And I've been part of teams where the dudes in the locker room do something about it.
"And I've been a part of the team where you know, it kind of crumbles. But now it's time to see the real leadership. The real players. The guys that (are) elite on this team, myself included, step up and do something about it. Get this team another win."
The Eagles didn't show much fight in Sunday's 33-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the second consecutive loss by 20-plus points to a team that won 10-plus games. The Eagles are 10-3, but have lost both games to opponents that have double digit wins in blowout fashion. Not exactly the look of a Super Bowl contender.
"I just think that's us as a whole, we just got to execute better as all players, coaches, myself, everybody's just got to execute at a higher level," said Darius Slay. "Overall, I think everybody should just tone themselves down and just play ball man. It's a kid's game. It should be fun, you know?"
The Eagles aren't having much fun right now based on the results of the last few games. They are the first team since the 1983 Cowboys to enter eight-plus games above .500 and lose by 20-plus points in back-to-back games, per CBS Sports Research. No team has won a Super Bowl after losing back-to-back games by 15-plus points.
There's still four games for the Eagles to right the ship. Philadelphia can still finish 14-3, win the NFC East, and get home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs if the San Francisco 49ers slip up.
Time to find out who the dudes are.
"I wouldn't say we are discouraged," said A.J. Brown. "I will speak for myself, I am not discouraged. Disappointed? Yeah. Discouraged? No.
"How we turn it around? Get back to the drawing board, just try to correct things and move forward. I think that is the only thing you can do."