Eagles DT Fletcher Cox, six-time Pro Bowler, retiring from NFL

McAfee thanks Jason Kelce for a wonderful career (1:32)

Pat McAfee and A.J. Hawk reflect on the career of Jason Kelce after the Eagles offensive lineman announces his retirement. (1:32)

Six-time Pro Bowl Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announced Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL.

He follows in the footsteps of longtime Eagles center Jason Kelce, who announced his retirement earlier this week.

"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 in a statement posted to Instagram on Sunday.

In his statement, he thanked Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, current coach Nick Sirianni and former coach Doug Pederson and team president Don Smolenski, several teammates, including Brandon Graham, Kelce and Lane Johnson, and the team's fans.

"I gave everything I had to this team and to this city. I don't know what's next for me, but I do know that I'm forever grateful for my time here in Philadelphia and with the Eagles organization," he wrote.

Cox, 33, remained one of the Eagles' top performers in 2023, recording 5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and 36 quarterback pressures in 15 games.

Cox is one of the most accomplished defensive players in Eagles history. He holds the franchise record for sacks (70) and Pro Bowl appearances (6) by a defensive tackle and trails only Reggie White, Trent Cole, Clyde Simmons and Graham in career sacks.

"What made Fletcher truly special is that his influence extends even further behind the scenes. 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," Lurie said in a statement. "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.

"We are incredibly thankful for everything he gave to our organization and to the City of Philadelphia over the years, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on the future."

The 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Mississippi State, Cox has played his entire career in Philadelphia. He has appeared in 188 career regular-season games, the second most by an Eagles defensive player behind Graham (195).

He helped guide the Eagles to their only Super Bowl championship during the 2017 campaign and followed that up with his best season as a pro, racking up 10.5 sacks and 34 quarterback hits in 2018 en route to first-team All-Pro honors.

ESPN's Tim McManus contributed to this report.