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Byron Murphy Jr. Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Byron Murphy Jr. becomes the third Cardinals player to take home an award this season.
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For the third straight week, an Arizona Cardinals player won a weekly award.

Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. is the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two-interception effort against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. 

His first takeaway occurred at the Arizona 7-yard line to prevent the Jaguars from getting on the board early. 

His second interception came on a flea-flicker that he returned for a touchdown late in the third quarter. That gave Arizona the lead back 24-19, one it did not relinquish in the 31-19 victory. 

"When I saw the running back had the ball, I was coming up," Murphy said postgame. "Then once he threw it back to the quarterback, I just had to sprint, turn around and sprint. 

"Then I saw a guy kind of wheel it to the sideline and I just went straight to him and the ball was in the air for a little bit so it gave me time to get there and I made the play."

Murphy now has two interceptions and five passes defensed this season. 

He and Dallas' Trevon Diggs are the only players in the NFL with multiple interceptions and that many pass breakups. 

"I'm so happy and so proud of Byron and seeing how far he's come," Cardinals wide receiver and Murphy's high-school teammate Christian Kirk said Tuesday. "Just really happy for him and excited to watch his development."

Murphy and Kirk attended Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz.

This is the first such award for Murphy, the third-year player out of Washington.

It is also the first time the Cardinals have taken home Player of the Week honors in each of the first three games of a season.

Edge rusher Chandler Jones won on the defensive side in Week 1 after collecting five sacks and two forced fumbles. Quarterback Kyler Murray, who thought he should have won it in Week 1, earned it for his performance the following Sunday.