Offensive linemen used to approach Trent Cole after games and complain about the 60 minutes of brutal trench warfare Cole had just put them through.

Nowadays, Cole is just as apt to engage in a postgame chat with a tight end who was surprised to find himself matched up against the Eagles’ veteran whatever-he-is in coverage.

“I’m just like, hey, there’s a new Trent Cole,” Cole said recently after practice. “And he’s playing outside linebacker.”

After nine highly successful seasons entrenched at defensive end, a near-decade in which he climbed up the franchise sack chart to No. 3 all-time behind Reggie White and Clyde Simmons, Cole just isn’t that guy anymore.

He’s not always launching his body at the quarterback with reckless abandon or hand-fighting with 320-pound tackles. He still rushes the passer and is occasionally granted permission to put his hand back on the ground, but his assignments are more varied. And there are a dozen or so plays each game when he’s dropping into coverage.

Learning an entirely new position and adapting to an entirely new scheme in his 10th season isn’t what Cole envisioned at the end of last season. Even harder, though, was reprogramming himself to be satisfied by his impact in games when he comes up empty in the sack department.

And those games keep mounting. They reached seven of seven on Sunday against Dallas and his overall sackless streak, dating back to last year, is at nine.

“Yeah, that’s a big change, when you know you’re not just going out there [and rushing the passer]. It’s hard to swallow,” he said. “It was hard to swallow at first, but hey, you’ve got to get over it.

“Why sit there and be miserable when you have to do it regardless as a fact? So I keep moving forward, never look in the past. I’m not gonna sit there and be miserable. I told you all in the beginning that I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to make this work. I ain’t gonna sit back and be miserable, because I’m here to play ball.”

While Cole’s mindset is under adjustment, plenty of folks outside the NovaCare Complex haven’t so easily grasped the concept. After every game, especially an Eagles' loss, you hear the gripes and concerns that age has finally caught up to the 31-year-old.

Not only has he managed just three sacks in his past 19 games, but also his last multi-sack game came Dec. 11, 2010. That means we’re less than two months away from Cole’s three-year anniversary of his last multi-sack game.

“He’ll get there,” outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern promised. “He will be getting there. Trust me.”

McGovern’s opinion is more reflective of the appreciation for Cole’s adaptability, versatility and leadership inside the NovaCare Complex compared to the panic from the outside.