The Dallas Cowboys have had notable defensive stars in the past few years. Right now, LB Micah Parsons has some of the best betting odds to win Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY). However, he may not be the best defensive player on his own team this year.
There is one notable player on the Dallas Cowboys who is not getting enough consideration for this award. This is CB DaRon Bland. What kind of case does he have? Let’s take a look.
The Case For DaRon Bland
DaRon Bland is tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions. However, what he does with those interceptions is what stands out here. Of those six interceptions, he has returned four of them for touchdowns.
His four interception returns for touchdowns put Bland in rare company. Right now, he has tied the single-season record in this category. With seven games remaining in the season for the Dallas Cowboys, it is not unreasonable to think Bland could break the record with a fifth interception return for a touchdown.
If the interceptions were not enough, Bland has also been a shutdown corner. He has only allowed two catches in his last two games. Plus, he has one of the lowest passer ratings allowed in the NFL this season.
Taking Dallas Cowboys’ Secondary Reigns
Bland is not the only member of the Dallas Cowboys secondary to make headlines in recent years. In 2021, CB Trevon Diggs proved just how talented he was. Diggs had 11 interceptions during the 2021 season. Unfortunately, Diggs tore his ACL early in the 2023 season and has been out ever since.
The injury resulted in many questioning what the Cowboys’ secondary would look like. Well, it is safe to say that the Cowboys have been in good hands with Bland this season. Bland may even top the 2021 season that Diggs had.
Bland’s DPOY Competition
While Bland is having a great season, he is not the only defensive player in the NFL that has stood out. The betting odds for DPOY reflect this. According to DraftKings, Bland is just 10th in betting odds to win DPOY after Week 11.
So, who is his competition? Bland’s own teammate, Micah Parsons, sits second in the betting odds. He has 10 sacks on the season at the time of writing.
Two big defensive stars are also ahead of him. These stars are Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett and Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt. Garrett leads the league in sacks (13), and Watt has 11.5 sacks. Plus, both teams have offensive struggles and lean on their talented defensive players.
All of the players mentioned are certainly worthy of DPOY consideration. However, Bland has the right to be in the mix, if not ahead of these players, in betting odds for DPOY at the time of writing. We will have to see if there is more recognition going forward if this trend continues.