DaRon Bland

American football player (born 1999)

American football player
NFL draft:2022 / Round: 5 / Pick: 167Career history
  • Dallas Cowboys (2022–present)
Roster status:ActiveCareer highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Most interceptions returned for touchdown in a season: 5
  • Most defensive touchdowns in a season: 5 (tied with Ken Houston)
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Total tackles:123
Pass deflections:22
Interceptions:14
Defensive touchdowns:5
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

DaRon Bland (/dəˈrɒn/ duh-RON;[1] born July 12, 1999) is an American football cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Sacramento State before transferring to Fresno State. In 2023, he set the NFL single-season record for most interceptions returned for a touchdown with five.

Early years

Bland grew up in Modesto, California, and attended Central Catholic High School. He was named the Valley Oak League Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.[2]

College career

Bland began his college career at Sacramento State. As a junior, he was named first-team All-Big Sky Conference after recording 43 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and forced fumbles with two interceptions and eight passes broken up.[3] After his senior season was canceled and moved to the spring of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Bland entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.[4] Bland ultimately committed to transfer to Fresno State.[5] In his only season with the Bulldogs he recorded 45 tackles with five passes defended and two interceptions in 13 games played.[6]

College statistics

Season GP Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Solo Ast Cmb TfL Sck Int Yds Avg TD PD FR FF TD
Sacramento State Hornets
2017 7 5 3 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 10 33 11 44 3.0 0.0 1 47 47.0 0 6 0 1 0
2019 13 30 13 43 6.5 1.0 2 43 21.5 0 10 1 1 0
2020 0 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Fresno State Bulldogs
2021 13 34 11 45 1.0 0.0 2 38 19.0 0 5 0 1 0
Career 43 102 38 140 10.5 1.0 5 128 25.6 0 21 1 3 0

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0+14 in
(1.84 m)
197 lb
(89 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.48 s 1.55 s 2.59 s 4.15 s 7.26 s 35.5 in
(0.90 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
14 reps
All values from Pro Day[7]

2022 season

Bland was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys.[8][9]

Bland recorded his first career interception on October 2, 2022, versus Carson Wentz. Bland would then have two picks against Matt Ryan on December 4, and another on December 24 against the Philadelphia Eagles for his fifth interception of the season.

2023 Season

On September 10, 2023, Bland recorded his first interception of the season. It was a pass from New York Giants quarterback, Daniel Jones to Saquon Barkley. The pass was broken up by Trevon Diggs. Bland caught the deflected pass and returned it for his first career touchdown.

On October 1, Bland recorded two interceptions against Mac Jones while facing the New England Patriots, one of which he converted for six points.[10]

On October 29, Bland returned an interception from Matthew Stafford for a touchdown, making it his third of the year; setting the Cowboys single-season pick-six record previously held by five other players.

On November 19, in a game against the Carolina Panthers, Bland intercepted a pass from Bryce Young and returned it for his fourth interception return for a touchdown of the year, tying the NFL single-season record and the Cowboys career record. Bland was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.[11]

On November 23, during the win over the Washington Commanders, Bland intercepted a pass from Sam Howell and returned it for his fifth interception return for a touchdown of the year, setting the NFL single-season record.[12] Bland was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November.[13]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
NFL record
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2022 DAL 17 8 54 38 16 0 0 0 0 0 5 19 0 7
2023 DAL 17 15 69 53 16 0 0 0 0 0 9 209 5 15
Career 34 23 123 91 32 0 0 0 0 0 14 228 5 22

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2022 DAL 2 2 18 10 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2023 DAL 1 1 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 3 3 23 15 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Notes and references

  1. ^ "2022 Dallas Cowboys Media Guide" (PDF). NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  2. ^ Burns, James (January 23, 2017). "Cousins Montell and DaRon Bland commit to Causeway Classic". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  3. ^ Moore, Jackson (January 21, 2021). "All-Big-Sky CB transfer Daron Bland commits to Fresno State". 247Sports.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  4. ^ Salerno, Cameron (June 4, 2021). "Why are so many NCAA football players looking to transfer?". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  5. ^ "Fresno State football: 2021 class up to 17, three transfers". The Fresno Bee. February 3, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  6. ^ "Cowboys select Fresno State CB DaRon Bland with No. 167 pick NFL draft". The Dallas Morning News. April 30, 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  7. ^ "2022 Draft Scout DaRon Bland, Fresno State NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  8. ^ "2022 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  9. ^ Galaviz, Anthony (April 30, 2022). "Former Fresno State cornerback DaRon Bland is taken by the Dallas Cowboys in NFL draft". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  10. ^ "Cowboys' Bland comes up with second pick-six of 2023". ESPN.com. October 1, 2023. Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  11. ^ Ochoa, RJ. "Dallas Cowboys CB DaRon Bland named NFC Defensive Player of the Week". Blogging the Boys. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  12. ^ Silverman, Steve (November 23, 2023). "Lakers' LeBron James honors DaRon Bland after historic pick-6". ClutchPoints. Retrieved November 23, 2023.
  13. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 30, 2023). "Texans QB C.J. Stroud, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott highlight November Players of the Month". NFL.com. Retrieved November 30, 2023.

External links

  • Dallas Cowboys bio
  • Fresno State Bulldogs bio
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