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Eagles’ Darius Slay at center of NFL’s latest pass interference controversy vs. Steelers

Eagles fans on Twitter are frequently an unhappy bunch. On a pass interference call against Darius Slay on Sunday, they might’ve had a case.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger attempted a pass down the right sideline to James Washington in the first quarter Sunday. Slay was playing press coverage on Washington, and the pair battled down the field. About 15 yards down the field, Slay briefly put his arms on Washington’s left shoulder. That drew an official’s flag for defensive pass interference, a spot foul that went for 21 yards for the Steelers.

Slay’s penalty appeared a bit soft regardless of where the football was thrown, but Roethlisberger’s throw also sailed out of bounds and probably had a case to be uncatchable, too. Pittsburgh concluded the drive with a Chase Claypool rushing touchdown that put the Steelers up 7-0 on the Eagles. 

A three-time Pro Bowler, Slay joined the Eagles in the offseason after playing the first seven seasons of his NFL career with the Detroit Lions. According to NFLPenalties.com, Slay was called for three defensive pass interference penalties in the 2019 season. 

Pass interference has frequently been in the news during the 2020 NFL season due to an offseason rule change — pass interference is no longer a reviewable call. Whether a flag is thrown on the field or not is final.

Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup was called for offensive pass interference in Week 2 on a late pass down the field from Dak Prescott. It would’ve been automatically reviewed in the booth with less than two minutes remaining in the game. If the call had been overturned, Dallas would’ve had a chance for a game-tying field goal. The Cowboys wound up losing 20-17.

The Rams also felt hard done by a defensive pass interference call in Week 3 against the Bills, when Josh Allen threw a fourth down pass to Gabriel Davis that was ruled DPI, and Buffalo went on to score. 

Philadelphia quickly answered back with a touchdown after the Steelers opened the scoring Sunday, as Miles Sanders ran 74 yards for a score on the ensuing drive.

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