Bland said he had another thing to be thankful for after breaking the record for the most pick-sixes in a season, with his fifth coming late in the fourth quarter.
He now has the second-most touchdowns on the Cowboys just behind CeeDee Lamb, who has six.
Mr. Humble Making History
One word you’ll often hear when discussing Bland is “humble.” Not only did he come from humble beginnings, but he continues to carry a humble attitude throughout his NFL career.
“That was one of my biggest things, to show the kids back home you can do it. Whatever you put your mind to, you can do it,” said Bland.
And he did it because it was all gas and no brakes for Bland when he got the ball in his hands and took off toward the end zone for a 63-yard pick-six. When he made it into the end zone, it was clear that AT&T Stadium erupted with excitement, especially from the sidelines.
“It’s just great having that energy from my teammates. It means a lot,” said Bland.
His teammates put Bland in the infamous Red Kettle to help him celebrate.
DaRon Bland just set an NFL record with his fifth pick-6 of the season. His teammates celebrated by throwing Bland in the red kettle pic.twitter.com/WvBI9fCSGO
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 24, 2023
Mike McCarthy agreed this was a memorable moment for the 24-year-old, saying, “I think if you could just see, I hope you saw it on the sidelines. And that felt that just the reaction itself is something I’ll never forget.”
McCarthy also described Bland as a humble young man, something Jerry Jones agrees with.
After the game, Jones talked about Bland’s record-setting night, saying it meant something to everyone in the locker room to watch their teammate stamp his way into NFL history. The owner even referred to Bland as “Mr. Humble.”
“This is surreal, unbelievably exciting to see this group reach this level of enthusiasm,” said Jones.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 24, 2023
Jones said Bland’s game is beyond interceptions, stating, “He’s playing really sound football back there, but it would have been beyond our expectation or dream that we could have him step up the way he has, and it’s inspirational.”
But, with the conversations swirling on if he should be considered for the Defensive Player of the Year, Jones said he “didn’t know about that.”
The owner joked after and said Bland should have received an accolade for the offense with how he ran into the end zone.
Bland’s Stamping His Name in the History Books
Bland was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after tying the NFL record on Sunday against the Panthers.
Bland is the first non-offensive player to score five touchdowns in a season since J.J. Watt in 2014 and now leads the league in pick-sixes and is tied for the most interceptions also.
Although this is Bland’s first time breaking an NFL record, he has quietly become a household name, putting his name in the Cowboys’ franchise history books.
Bland’s 12 interceptions are the third-most by a Cowboys player in his first two seasons, trailing Everson Walls and Trevon Diggs.
Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!
Listen to the PFN Cowboys Podcast
Listen to the PFN Cowboys Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Cowboys Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Cowboys Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.