The Dallas Cowboys’ prayers for a second receiving option have been answered.
Cowboys corner DaRon Bland caught another pass on Sunday, this time from Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Like he had done three times already this season, he took it to the house for a Dallas touchdown.
Bland leads the league with six interceptions and, unsurprisingly, pick-sixes. His four interceptions returned for touchdowns are tied for the most in a single season … ever.
Sunday marked the Cowboys’ 10th game of the season.
When asked by FOX sideline reporter Erin Andrews about how he has been so productive, Bland called back his childhood.
“It has to go back to my high school days, playing receiver and having that mindset to go get the ball,” Bland said. “Just go get it.”
Speaking of receivers, Bland has now scored more times than Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams and New Orleans Saints pass catcher Chris Olave. Only receiver CeeDee Lamb has scored more touchdowns in a Cowboys uniform this year.
Bland’s tumbling pick-six was the final touchdown of the afternoon. Intercepting Young was just the cherry on top of an otherwise stifling defensive performance that saw the rookie sacked seven times. Dallas allowed just 187 yards, winning 33-10.
The impressive win, on the day former head coach Jimmy Johnson learned he was entering the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, helped push America’s Team to 7-3. Despite the injuries to star cornerback Trevon Diggs and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, this defense has proven to be among the league’s elite.
While only ranking 10th in success rate, the Cowboys’ expected points added per play ranks third, a testament to their ability to limit explosive plays and create turnovers.
Further, Bland isn’t just causing the occasional turnover. Through 10 games, his -41.3 expected points added when targeted is a borderline historic mark.
Bland will likely have another opportunity to add to his ball production on Thanksgiving, when Dallas hosts the Washington Commanders.