Deck of Dream Team 2012: Dean Cox

Name: Dean Cox
Club: West Coast Eagles
Position: Ruck
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 107.5
2011 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 101

Why should I pick him? Because he’s a top bloke and he’s been the best fantasy ruckman of the last 5 years! No other ruck has averaged or scored as many points as Big Cox since 2007, and that includes his injury affected years of ’09 and ’10. If that isn’t enough to convince you, there is enough evidence to suggest he’s only getting better!

At the ripe old age of 29, Coxy registered career-bests in a number of categories, namely DT Average (107.5 per game) Hitouts (28.6), Frees For (2.4) and even Brownlow Votes (0.82 a game)! And that’s with up-and-comer NicNat taking a much bigger portion of the ruck coconut than in previous years. He destroyed it at times this season, especially early in the year, and ended up topping the 120 mark 8 times in 2011! That’s huge, even for a midfielder, and particularly for probably the biggest bloke on the field at any given stage.

In terms of durability, his record is actually quite favourable, especially for a big fella. He played all 22 games in both of the last two seasons, and has only missed 17 games since 2005. You’d be hard pressed to find a better track record than that from a modern-day ruckman. But not only can he stay on the track, he always gets in done when he’s out there! He scored under 87 only 3 times in 2011, making him one of the most reliable DT performers last season.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? He’s pricey and he’s 30. While he seemed to be fitter in 2011 then he had been in years, there is always the increased chance of having your body break down when you’ve moved out of the twenties.

His end to 2011 was also pretty piss poor in comparison to the rest of the season, with scores of 57, 96, 97, 57 and 120 rounding out the regular season. Whether this was due to injury or old age or a dodgy combination of both, I think we will see his TOG gradually reduced over the rest of his career, especially as NicNat matures. Also, the possibility of being rested is quite high, especially as West Coast are keen to groom Lycett and have publicly hinted that they could be adopting Geelong’s highly successful but shit-for-DT resting model in 2012.

Another reason you might not want to pick Coxy is the plethora of young ruckman who emerged last year as genuine front-line ruck options, and can only improve. McEvoy, Goldstein, Leuenberger, Jacobs, Mumford, etc all demand consideration for 2012. Also, note that the Eagles also share the Round 11 bye with Adelaide, Brisbane, North, GWS and the Bulldogs, making compatibility with names like Goldstein, Jacobs, Leuenberger and even Giles or Hamish McIntosh a serious issue.

He also has a tendency to KO his teammates with anything he can get his hands on, just ask Josh Kennedy’s optometrist. More of an issue for his teammates though, really…

Deck of DT Rating: KING – Coxy is a legend, and you can guarantee he’ll do his best to secure you a ton whenever he crosses that white line. His issues with age and the fixture compatibility means he no longer attains ‘Ace’ status, but make no mistake, Big Cox is a gun and that won’t change in 2012.


  • Very nice write up, Tbetta.
    I still have faith in the big man, even @ 30yrs and with the improving Nic Nat.
    Happy to lock him in, I still think that he’ll average over the ton, sure he’s a bit pricey, but there’s so much value in other players this year to offset this.

  • For the first time in a long time I may not have Cox in my starting lineup come Round 1. Cox will have a decent season as always but with the younger guys coming through it’s the first time in a long time that there are genuine ruck options besides Cox and Sandilands. I think I will take a punt on a couple of those younger rucks.

  • Currently got Leuenberger/Cox as rucks but didnt realise they both had the bye in round 11, may have to reassess my options, would love to have Coxy at some stage this year

  • Yep this will be a tough one, Leaving cox out to go with the young guns is a decision im not prepared to make just yet ;) cheers

  • Coxy is an interesting one at the moment. Its a maybe from me. Picking him or not may be the key to my teams ovreall make up I reckon.

  • Passing this year. Going for The Burg and McEvoy.

  • Pass. Big injury risk and age is exactly helping. Much better option out there for the rucks this year IMO

  • I’ll pass. Injury concerns are high, and getting old with a ‘not so strong’ body. Will get ‘general soreness’ or ‘rested’ a lot (IMO) which no Dream Teamer likes. Looking at the Leuenberger/Ryder or Kreuzer combination. Pass

  • Probably not going to start him in my team

  • Great article tbetta! But not going with Coxy next year and might go to McEvoy or H-Mac.

  • good work tbetta.

    This is a bit off topic but does anyone know how these rd 11, 12 and 13 byes are going to work in DT?

  • Have to agree with fightingfury – next year will be my first time without having Coxy in my starting squad. 30 plus, a tiring body and with Nicnat spending more and more time in the ruck, I think Coxy’s days of scoring 120+ (as in the old days) are numbered.
    Looking more at a Sandi/Luey combo at this early stage.

  • Choosing your ruck duo will be the most important thing for DT ’12. Decisions,decisions…..looking at Sandi/Jacobs or Cox/Mcevoy.


    one to watch. byrnes averaged 85 and 79 prior to this year

    • Certainly a smokey option! Might do a Nahas and boost his numbers by going through the middle abit more.. but has plenty of competition with, Christensen, Duncan, Stokes, Varcoe and even the younger kids they picked up in the draft.

      Hard to pass up on big Coxy, but happy that most people’s ruck duo will be quite different next year for a change, no more boring ol Sandi-Cox combo!

  • nah thanks, age a factor. his hammies could give way. ruckmen have burst out last year as well. Leuey, Goldstein, McEvoy and even Sandi coud be worth a gain this year

  • Even though Cox will be 30 he is still a premium ruckman for 2012. I see Coxy as a better choice as a premium ruckman than Sandilands due to sandilands durabaility over the past few years. Most likely goin with Coxy and Leunberg in 2012.

  • Last year I traded Cox in at around rd 6 and loved him. I knew I should have picked him up at the start when I saw him on the telly playing like a ruck rover in the NAB.

    I am tempted but I think Sandi / Smith will be my choice. Goldie / Jacobs is another.

    Big Cox has brought endless points and puns, but his time may be up. That said, he will probably kill it.

  • Would love to see burger/mcevoy/goldi/Jacobs in the deck…
    Some big yrs scoring wise from them… Interested to see everyone else’s thoughts if they can back it up.

  • I reckon tomorrow it will be porplyzia.

    (maybe scotty thompson)

  • There is something exciting about picking up a promising youngster over a star veteran on the decline. Leuey, Nat, Kruzer, Jacobs, Goldstein, McEvoy, Mumford. A few of those guys will average 100+.

  • I’ll be passing on Cox at this stage – Sad I know
    As tbetta said… so many young ruckman at the moment who have huge scoring potential.
    Where will Coxy rank this year against the other rucks? He might be knocked off his mantle in 2012. But bloody hell he has served me well.

  • probably not 4 me this year i like the look of those young up and coming ruckmen L
    burger will dominate

  • Wow a lot passing on Cox?!? Yep – the Big C is going to cost you a lot, but I’ll let you in on a little secret… He is worth every penny. Not only has been the number #1 lock ruckman for the past 5 years, as tbetta mentioned, but he also can back up as a reliable captain choice when the Weagles play at home. Personally, I don’t think you can justify not starting him… And here’s the reason why:

    I did a little bit of research and looking at his last two game average against WC opponents in the first 9 rounds (confusing??… read it a couple of times and it will make sense), Big Coxy is predicted to average 105.7 ppg. Yep a little less than his starting price, but the really interesting part is when I looked at every other ruckman, only 2 are predicted to average over 90 ppg over the same 9 round period!!.

    So in summary, starting off without a Big Cox is a massive no no, as you could be >100 pts behind the guys with the balls to go with Cox, and that is before the bye carnage has even begun.

    • people are picking leuenberger, mumford, goldstein etc. because of what they think they will do in the future as young ruckmen, not what they’ve done in the past. if you look at the past of course cox is going to have the better record.

  • Going with the Mc-Berger combo this year (mcevoy/leuenberger), Berger has the bye in Rd 11 and Mcevoy Rd 13, prob the best options in my opinion that dont clash at the present

    • Oi! Shh. Keep such logic to self. Go with Cox is old and Chappy has bad hammys.

    • i reckon that might be mine too, and then depending on how big cox is going, switch him in for round 13!

  • I’m still undecided about Cox but for me, the positives still far outweigh the negatives. No other ruckman gets nearly as many disposals and his kick to handball ratio puts him in a different league to the other rucks. His last few games were poor due to a few little mishaps (in one of those games in which he scored 50 he got blasted in the face and was subbed off for example) but didn’t succumb to any sort of debilitating injury. He’d be one of the highest paid players at the Eagles and if he’s fit, he should play, and play where he’s at his best which is on the ball. I generally stay away from anyone over 30, but make the exception for ruckmen and could do the same for big Coxy.

  • it’s going to be hard for me as i want sandi, cox, h mac and giles, thats 3 out round 11, but i should be alright as than giles and h mac will have made me plenty of cash and ready to downgrade..

  • Popular ruckman who share a bye with Dean Cox:
    Adelaide: Sam Jacobs, Kurt Tippett (RUC), Josh Jenkins
    Brisbane: Matthew Leuenberger, Billy Longer, Ben Hudson
    West Coast: Dean Cox, Nic Naitanui, Scott Lycett
    North Melbourne: Todd Goldstein, Hamish McIntosh, Majak Daw
    Footscray: Will Minson, Jordan Roughead, Ayce Cordy
    GWS: Jonathon Giles, Orren Stephenson, Tom Downie

    • Stephenson plays for geelong

      • Haha oops, no idea why I wrote that. Dean Brogan should be there instead. Myles Bolger may also be a popular option if/when he is selected by GWS in the rookie draft.

  • Is he 29 or 30? You contradicted yourself.

  • im passing on big cox this year aswell. unlike previous years there are 4-5 good ruckmen to choose from rather than the cox-sandi lock