Darius Slay Looking to "Mess Up" Washington's Dreams of Winning NFC East

The cornerback and other Eagles say the effort to win will still be present, even if it does push them further down the draft board
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An Eagles win on Sunday will push them deeper down the draft order, moving them from where they currently sit at No. 6 to something lower, but the players don’t care about that.

“You know we’re going out there to win,” said Pro Bowl defensive end Brandon Graham, who has back-to-back eight sack seasons. “We gotta end this thing up with a good taste in our mouth, at least.

“I understand it’s a business at the end of the day, but when we’re on that field, we’re putting our career and life on the line each and every time we step on that field. Nobody did say, ‘Ah, they let them win because they want to get that spot.’ Nah, (it’s) ‘BG looked bad when he out there looking bad on film.’ So, you want to go out there with that mindset every time to go win.”

All season, the Eagles have showed up and played hard for head coach Doug Pederson. They had something to play for then. This time, with nothing to be gained from a victory, it will be interesting to see how hard they compete.

So far this week, players who have been on Zoom with reports have said the effort will still be there.

“We’re attacking,” said cornerback Darius Slay. “We’re an attack team. We know what’s on the line. We don’t want anybody celebrating on our field wearing (NFC East champion) hats and T-shirts and stuff like that. We’re looking forward to going out and to mess up some dreams.”

Washington’s dream of winning its first division title since 2015 is alive. A win is all it will take. A loss, and the NFC East champion will be the winner of the Cowboys-Giants game, set to be played earlier in the day.

“I think the goal always stays the same and that’s to win the next game,” said linebacker T.J. Edwards. “I think we’ve been through a lot of highs and lows and things we obviously wish we could do differently. We want to go out swinging and we want to go out with our best foot forward. I don’t think there is anybody lulled to sleep by this game. We want to put really good things on tape. I think everyone’s excited and ready to go for this game.”

There will be some pretty big changes on the roster, maybe even more of them this offseason, and with some surprise releases, too, given that the Eagles are expected to be more than $70 million above the salary cap.

The impact of COVID-19 will be felt in the cap, with it expected to decrease from lost revenue in a season played without fans or a limited number of them.

Miles Sanders is an optimist. He is hoping there isn’t much roster change, but he’s also a realist and knows the business side of the game.

“I believe we have a hell of a team with the guys we have,” said the running back who has six rushing touchdowns and a career-high 867 rushing yards.

“I don’t think we need anybody else or need to add anybody or let anybody go. I think the team that we have is very capable of making a Super Bowl run. But playing the way we played throughout the whole year isn’t going to get us there and that’s playing smarter football.

“…I would love for everybody to be here, but this is the way this business is. We’re going to have a whole different team next year and that’s how it is every year. Honestly, I wish everybody could stay.”

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