The Miami Dolphins need a win to preserve more than just their postseason possibilities. It might be the only way to keep Bryan Cox from going ballistic again.

The linebacker has thrown tantrums in two of the last three games - all home losses - and even hinted about retiring after just three seasons."My teammates know that I'm not some kind of psycho," Cox said before Monday night's game between the Dolphins (9-5) and San Diego Chargers (6-8). "That's just the way I play the game. No one likes to lose.

"I'm trying to channel my frustration to keep it between the lines, but sometimes if somebody goes after you after a play is over or something, you have to protect yourself."

In the closing minutes of last week's 47-34 loss to the Buffalo Bills, nose tackle Chuck Klingbeil and safety Bobby Harden were ejected for fighting, and Cox became so angry that coach Don Shula benched him with 4:56 remaining.

"There's a lot of disappointment, but we still feel like we control our own destiny," Cox said. "We just need to get a win to start things off. We need to look forward now and not back at what happened last week. We made some mistakes and we have to live with them and learn from it."

Cox hinted last week that he's thought about retiring.

"There's probably a very, very minute chance that I'll retire, but it's something I've been thinking about," he said. "When you feel like you're backed into a corner and feel like you're discriminated against by this league, it's not any fun.

"I've always said that when I'm not having fun anymore that it's time to walk away. And right now, I'm not having any fun. I'm too young to have this kind of stress and this kind of pressure put on my shoulders."

During the closing moments of a 19-14 loss to the New York Giants three weeks ago, Cox offered a fan $10,000 to fight him and was restrained from attacking back judge Bill Lovett. While walking to the locker room after the game, Cox shouted profanities at an NFL security representative, whose job is to protect the game officials.

That cost Cox a $5,000 fine.

Earlier this season, he was fined $10,000 by the NFL for making obscene gestures to the crowd before a game at Buffalo.

Cox doesn't think he's been treated fairly be league officials.

"That's a bunch of people who have never played that are just trying to regulate the game," he said. "They don't want us to be ourselves. They just want us to be robots that they put on the field. They don't accept us as individuals. It's just like banging your head up against the wall. Sooner or later your head is going to bust open."

Cox has emerged as one of the top linebackers in the AFC, having been voted a Pro Bowl starter last year. Although his sacks are down from a team-high 14 last year to five this year, he has a career-best 104 tackles, tying him for the team lead with safety Jarvis Williams, plus three fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and an interception.

View Comments

Shula said he spoke with Cox the day after his latest outburst.

"I've talked to him about the importance of staying on the field and leadership. We have so many players injured, we certainly can't afford to lose a player like Bryan Cox because of his failing to control his temper on the field."

Will it do any good?

"Tune in Monday night," Shula said.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.