The Dallas Cowboys’ defense has faced its share of challenges this season, especially with the season-ending injury to star cornerback Trevon Diggs in September. However, the emergence of DaRon Bland as the next man up has been a surprising and positive development for the Cowboys.
Since stepping in for Diggs, Bland has exceeded expectations, even outperforming the Pro Bowl cornerback in certain statistical categories. According to Pick 6, Bland currently boasts the second-lowest passer rating allowed among cornerbacks this season, with a remarkable rating of 37.0. This places him just behind Paulson Adebo of the New Orleans Saints, who has a rating of 33.0.
Teammate Micah Parsons commended Bland’s performance, stating, “He has answered the call every time we’ve asked him to step up.”
Bland’s contributions to the Cowboys’ defense go beyond his impressive passer rating. He has recorded 29 tackles (24 solo), one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, four interceptions, and three touchdowns. His playmaking abilities have been a crucial factor in the success of the Cowboys’ defense, which, while not as dominant as the previous season, remains a significant strength for the team in 2023.
The fifth-round pick from Fresno State has embraced the opportunity to fill Diggs’ shoes and contribute to the team’s success. Bland emphasized his willingness to be a playmaker, stating, “I can be another playmaker. We lost one playmaker (in Diggs), but it could easily be any one of our days.”
As the Cowboys aim for a third consecutive playoff appearance, Bland’s unexpected standout performance and the depth of the Dallas defense could play a pivotal role in the team’s success over the remaining nine games of the season.