The Dallas Cowboys have one of the top pass defenses in the NFL. Through 11 weeks, they rank 2nd in yards allowed and have forced opposing quarterbacks into the 4th most interceptions of any team. They have 11 picks so far on the year, including four pick-6s, all of which have come from one man.
DaRon Bland Is Outscoring NFL Wide Receiver Groups By Himself
DaRon Bland is having an insane season 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FhJtp00tLH
— PFF (@PFF) November 20, 2023
DaRon Bland was drafted by the Cowboys during the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and he started 8 games during his rookie season. He was one of the bigger contributors for Dallas defensively during his first year, amassing 54 tackles and defending 7 passes. But he had a knack for ball-hawking, and finished with 5 interceptions, two more than any other player on the team.
He has continued that prowess in 2023, and has taken it to another level. He ranks 5th in the league in passes defended with 12, and has 38 combined tackles. The truly impressive statistic is his interception numbers, of which is 6 are tied for the league lead. But what he’s done with those turnovers has helped the Cowboys become one of the top teams in the NFC.
Of Bland’s 6 interceptions, he has returned an incredible four of them for touchdowns. His 4 scores are more than the totals of every player in the receiving rooms for the Browns and Jets, and just as many as the ones in the Falcons and Giants rooms. He has as many touchdowns this season as Davante Adams and Travis Kelce, and more than Jaylen Waddle or DK Metcalf.
Unlikely To Break Record, But Facing Howell Will Help
Most Pick Sixes this season
Daron Bland 4
13 teams tied 1 pic.twitter.com/bBteJyiiiD
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 19, 2023
The four defensive scores off of interceptions ties Bland for the NFL single-season record. The feat has not been done since 1993 when Eric Allen did it for the Philadelphia Eagles. The other two instances happened in 1972 and 1971.
Can he break the record? The odds would tell us no, but they would have also told us that 2 more would have been nearly impossible after the first couple of touchdowns. You can bet that he’ll continue his ball-hawking, which might be taken to another level given that he is on the cusp of putting his name in the record books.
Bland will get a good chance to add to his total this coming weekend. The Cowboys will be taking on the Commanders, who have Sam Howell at quarterback. Howell has put up impressive statistical numbers so far this year, but is tied for the league lead in interceptions thrown with 12.