The two biggest non-quarterback contracts in the NFL belong to defensive tackles in a 4-3 scheme. Of the non-quarterbacks, three of the top five deals went to players who played tackle in a 4-3 defense.

If you want to see a position's value in the NFL, follow the money. And the Eagles made it clear with Fletcher Cox's six-year, $103-million contract extension last week that they don't value just Cox's talent, but also the value of the position he plays.

When viewing a pass rusher, much of the attention goes to edge rushers. But Howie Roseman touted how valuable the interior pressure is in the 4-3 defense, and also the challenge of finding players that size who can get to the quarterback.

"It's really hard when you look at building your team because when you have great offensive tackles, you can scheme against great defensive ends -- I'm not telling you they are not equally as important; they are," Roseman said. "But when you can get pressure up the middle and in a quarterback's face, it's hard. It's hard for them. It makes them uncomfortable. I think this is something that we always believed in. There were very few guys that are this big and this athletic and have this kind of motor that are ever born, let alone play in the National Football League."

Roseman learned scouting during Andy Reid's time with the Eagles, and defensive tackles were considered a premium position then, too. During Andy Reid's 14 years with the Eagles, the team spent four first-round picks on defensive tackles. That was twice as many as for any other position. Whether it was Corey Simon, Mike Patterson, Broderick Bunkley, or Cox, the Eagles invested one of their most valuable resources – a first-round pick – on interior linemen.

"He always believed in interior pressure," Roseman said of Reid. "When you're a quarterback and you get interior pressure, that's hard. You're not able to step up in the pocket."

Cox was the best of all those defensive tackles the Eagles drafted under Reid. Roseman said what makes Cox special beyond the "unbelievable physical tools" is that he's "not one-dimesional." He can win with explosiveness off the ball, power, and athleticism. That combination, Roseman said, is "really hard to find."

Roseman called Cox a player the Eagles can build around. Even as a 3-4 defensive end, Cox forced opposing opposing coordinators to game-plan against him. But the Eagles think Cox has more value in Jim Schwartz's scheme. In fact, the other highest-paid defensive linemen – Ndamukong Suh and Marcell Dareus – both played tackle under Schwartz. That was also why the Eagles wanted to sign Cox when they did.

"Understanding that this scheme is predicated on getting pressure, on getting to the quarterback," Roseman said. "It's hard to think that his value was going to go down in this game. You look at who Jim's had. He's had [Albert] Haynesworth. He's had Suh. He's had Dareus. He's made some guys a lot of money."