If you hadn’t heard of DaRon Bland earlier this season, chances are you’re very familiar with him now. A second-year cornerback on the Dallas Cowboys, Bland set an NFL record in the Cowboys’ 45-10 win over the Washington Commanders on Thanksgiving with his fifth pick-six of the season.
Bland broke the NFL record in just 10 games, and since he became a starter following Trevon Diggs’ season-ending injury, he has emerged as one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. But what are Bland’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award odds, and where does he stand in the race?
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds
Up until Thanksgiving, it looked like a three-player race for NFL Defensive Player of the Year between Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons, and T.J. Watt, but Bland has now immersed himself in the conversation. Although he is still a distant fourth in odds, Bland has made a huge leap with his big-play ability.
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Myles Garrett/Micah Parsons (+160)
- T.J. Watt (+250)
- DaRon Bland (+1100)
- Danielle Hunter (+3000)
- Nick Bosa/Chris Jones/Maxx Crosby (+3500)
Should DaRon Bland Win Defensive Player of the Year?
As impressive as Bland’s season has been, with six interceptions and five of them being returned for touchdowns, it seems unlikely for him to surpass any of the three edge defenders ahead of him.
In recent weeks, Garrett started to separate himself from Parsons and Watt in the DPOY race, as he was the NFL’s sack leader entering Week 12 and is the most valuable player on the best defense in the league. After their 29-12 loss to the Broncos, Garrett is now back to being co-favorites with Parsons. Garrett also suffered an injury to his left shoulder in the game, but the tests didn’t reveal any structural damage.
Although he is still far behind the top-three in odds, the fact that Bland has emerged as a legitimate candidate is remarkable. He has filled in masterfully for Diggs and has surpassed anyone’s expectations since becoming a full-time starter.
The Cowboys’ difficult schedule coming up should be a major test for Bland, with games against the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions. Although he still has to move past his teammate Parsons, if Bland continues to return interceptions for touchdowns, we could be talking about this DPOY race expanding to four players.
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