DaRon Bland, the Dallas Cowboys' second-year cornerback, has etched his name in the NFL history books by tying the single-season record for interception returns for a touchdown. Achieving this remarkable feat on Thanksgiving Day, Bland’s 63-yard interception return against the Washington Commanders marked his fourth touchdown, catapulting him into an elite group of NFL players.
This milestone, accomplished in a commanding 45-10 victory, adds a special layer to the festive celebration. Previously, Bland shared this record with notable players like Eric Allen (1993), Jim Kearney (1972), and Ken Houston (1971).
His achievement is a testament to his skill and determination, making him a standout player in the league this season.
A Standout Season
Bland's performance this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has not only surpassed entire teams in defensive touchdowns but also equaled the scoring tally of renowned offensive players such as Travis Kelce, Saquon Barkley, and Josh Jacobs.
This rare feat has put Bland in a league of his own, with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott lauding his preparation, skill, and hunger for touchdowns. The touchdown that tied the record was a spectacle of athletic prowess. Bland intercepted a pass intended for Jahan Dotson from Washington's Sam Howell, exhibiting remarkable agility and determination.
Despite Howell's near tackle, Bland's deft maneuvers ensured his path to the end zone, a moment that saw the Cowboys' sideline erupt in celebration. His family, present at the game, added to the emotional significance of the moment.
This wasn’t an isolated display of brilliance from Bland. In a previous game against the Carolina Panthers, he showcased his exceptional interception and running skills, transforming a defensive play into an offensive triumph.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones highlighted Bland’s mental readiness and determination, underscoring the significance of his end zone runs.
The Celebratory Moment
The touchdown sparked a jubilant celebration, with Bland and his teammates gathered in one of the Salvation Army red kettles, a moment so intense that coach Mike McCarthy had to call a timeout to regain order.
McCarthy acknowledged the magnitude of the achievement, reflecting the team’s joy and pride in Bland’s accomplishment.