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Chauncey Gardner Johnson Shows his Inner Dawg


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Chauncey Gardner Johnson Shows his Inner Dawg

The safety, acquired just before the start of the season,had two pivotal interceptions in the Eagles' 26-17 win over the Cowboys, including one after returning from a hand injury

PHILADELPHIA – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson sat down at the podium inside the Lincoln Financial Field interview room and slid on a pair of shades. He said the lights were too bright.

Funny thing, though, the bright lights of a national stage never bothered him. Not even a little bit.

Playing in primetime on a Sunday night, against the Dallas Cowboys, and in the only game left for NFL fans to watch after another busy Sunday of games, for his NFL peers around the league to sit back and take in, it was Gardner-Johnson who shined brightly.

The Eagles safety, who had hardly played any safety since arriving in the league in 2019 as a fourth-round pick of the Saints, had the first two-interception game of his career to spark a 26-17 win over Dallas and move to 6-0.

"I am blessed to be there,” he said. "I cannot say (I'm) too comfortable, because once you get comfortable, you don’t get better. I think every day is a learning process for me. I still left some plays on the field."


Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is wearing shades in his postgame interview after making two interceptions in the 26-17 win over the Cowboys in Week 6.

He put himself in line to become the sixth straight Eagles player to win an NFC player of the week award.

CGJ’s adjustment to a new team and teammates after arriving in a trade on Aug. 30 wasn’t easy, he admitted.

"Everybody knows me as a talker, that’s flashy, but just playing with guys who have a chip on their shoulder who all have the same goal in mind, it’s a humbling experience for me because I had to swallow my pride when I first got here,” he said.

The coaches got on him about being part of the team, about not trying to be or do too much.

"It’s all tough love,” he said. "When coach is talking to you, you have to take heed to it, and I think just listen to how they play ball. Like he said, this is our first time playing together, so I think it’s just a blessing to be a part of a humble group, all young men who just like to play ball and focus on what we can do.”

His first interception set up A.J. Brown’s 15-yard TD catch that gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead. His second came with 5:16 to play in the game, all but sealing the outcome.

Gardner-Johnson picked off that pass despite having to sit 16 plays while he went into the locker room to have his left hand X-rayed and despite having the hand heavily wrapped when he returned.

"Tough, that’s what we is, we are tough guys,” said cornerback Darius Slay, who also had an interception of Cowboys QB Cooper Rush. "This is a physical sport. We were all just praying for him when he went down … For him to come back in and get that sealing pick, come on, man, that’s what dawgs do. He got a big dawg on his chest.”

As Slay talked about the dawg, he growled.

The Eagles’ rebuilt back end already has nine interceptions after getting just 12 last year.

Gardner-Johnson and Slay have three each, James Bradberry, who had four pass breakups against Dallas, has two, and Avonte Maddox has one.

Of all the moves GM Howie Roseman made in the offseason, his last may prove to be his best, trading a fifth-round pick and the later his two sixth-round picks in 2024 for CGJ and a 2025 seventh-round selection of New Orleans.

That's a fleecing for a player who has made the kind of impact Gardner-Johnson has.

"I was the new guy coming in, coming in loud, showboating, but I’m not here to showboat you,” said Gardner-Johnson. "I’m here to get better, improve and help this team win. I think the best thing I can do is to gradually adjust, and gravitate to the group.

"I came in right before the season, so I didn’t have a full camp preseason, so just being around them guys and understanding where they come from, how they play ball, is different. I love it. I can’t complain, honestly.”

Nor can his teammates or fans.

"He’s an energy guy,” said Slay. "Brings a lot of energy. Works hard. Like I said, he’s a good dude. We appreciate him in the group … He brings a lot of swag to us. He’s doing his thing for us. He’s buying in, fitting into the room. That’s the biggest thing about our group. When you buy into it, it’s a good group.”


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I really thought when he went off the field that he was done for the game and likely for longer. I thought he'd broken his arm or hand and was going to miss multiple weeks. To come back so quickly showed his toughness.

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