It’s not illegal to steal tips from your division rivals, even if that team wears an obnoxious blue star on their helmets. One week after watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers, Darius Slay dug into the game tape.
The Philadelphia Eagles cornerback was searching for clues on how to stop D.J. Moore. The guy Slay studied during the week was Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, arguably the best player at the position in 2021. He has intercepted a pass in five straight games while earning a 78.8 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus.
Slay followed Moore on every defensive snap, save one where the Panthers receiver motioned over from the other side of the field. He learned how to contain him by mimicking Diggs. Slay held Moore to 42 yards on seven targets. And the 30-year-old wasn’t too proud to learn from someone six years younger than him.
“I’m not one of them older guys that can’t look at younger guys, that can’t learn from them,” Slay told reporters. “I’m one of them guys, I want to soak [it all in]. I’m a sponge, I want to know what everybody do to win. And I watched him [Diggs] play and he kind of controlled the game with him [Moore] so I said I’m going to steal some of this and then I started controlling the game.”
Diggs picked Sam Darnold off twice in Week 4. Ditto for Slay in Week 5. It was his best statistical performance in a midnight green jersey, although the nine-year veteran – his second season in Philly – cautioned about confusing picks for production.
“I had A lot of great games [last year],” Slay said. “It’s just some of them I didn’t get thrown at. The only reason you could consider it my best game is because I got two picks but other than that, no, I’m straight.”
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Slay Credited Teammates for Support
Slay’s first pick upped his total to 21 in 123 career games. However, it was his first interception since Dec. 27, 2020. Some people were starting to get on Slay’s case for not living up to the $50 million contract he inked last offseason. Well, that debate has been tabled after “Big Play” lived up to his name against Carolina.
“Our first thing was to confuse the quarterback as much as we could and we did that today,” Slay said. “Shoot, I made the play that was coming to me. And when it needed to be made.”
His third-quarter interception didn’t lead to a touchdown, but it swung momentum back to the Eagles following a Panthers interception 79 seconds earlier. Slay credited his teammates for getting him prepared for the game. He missed a practice and a walk-through earlier this week due to the birth of his “baby boy.”
“Busy week. Shout out to my teammates,” Slay said. “I told Rod (Rodney McLeod), Ant (Anthony Harris), and the rest of the defensive backs that I needed everyone today. I appreciate them for having my back out there and put me in the position to make the plays that I made.”
Nick Sirianni’s Halftime Message
Things weren’t going according to plan on the offensive side of the ball. Head coach Nick Sirianni praised his defense for keeping the Eagles in the game, then shared what his halftime message was to the locker room.
“We all knew it wasn’t going great. So, why isn’t it going great? And let’s get solutions,” Sirianni told reporters. “I’ve said this before about my college coach Larry Kehres. He was the type of guy who was in your face all week and then when the game came he kept his composure the entire time. He made the adjustments he needed to make, to go and be able to do our job. And that’s what I felt my job was as a leader.”