Darius Slay picked up on it pretty quickly.
This week is not like any other week.
“In the locker room, everybody’s around here yelling, ‘Cowboys week, Cowboys week,’” Slay said.
After seven years with the Lions, Slay is experiencing Eagles-Cowboys week for the first time.
It’s like nothing he’s ever been through.
“When I was with Detroit, I think we considered all the teams in the division rivals,” Slay said Tuesday. “But over here? They really don’t like nothing about the Cowboys. Nothing. And that’s just funny. I’m, like, loving it.”
His teammates have made sure Slay understands what this week means.
“Oh yeah, no doubt,” Jalen Mills said. “We had weights today before practice (and) Rodney kind of looked over to Slay, and we're like, ‘Hey man, it's Dallas week.’ He kind of looking like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I know.’ We like, ‘Nah, like, ‘It's Dallas week.’ This is the one.”
Slay is catching on.
Around here, it’s hard not to.
“This is the first time actually being a part of this and I’m blessed enough and fortunate enough to be a part of it, I’m excited for it,” he said. “I understand how big it is. Me being over there in a different division, we took division games seriously, but I feel like this week is like a whole other feeling. I feel this is like Super Bowl or die. Oh my goodness, y’all serious about this. OK, let’s turn up then.”
The Cowboys have won four of the last five meetings and 10 of the last 16 going back to 2012, including 9 of the last 13 at the Line.
The Eagles and Cowboys meet on NBC-TV’s Sunday Night Football. This is the 14th straight year at least one Eagles-Cowboys game has been played in prime-time.
“I told (Slay) from my first day in Philly, I was out eating a cheesesteak and I remember I had a fan tell me my rookie year, ‘Man, I don't care if y'all lose every game, as long as y'all beat Dallas twice a year, my year is made. So it's that serious, for sure.”
Slay faced the Cowboys three times with the Lions, winning in 2013 and losing in 2018 and last season.
Not the same.
Even in a mostly empty stadium, this will be a unique experience.