ARLINGTON, Texas — When Trevon Diggs went down with a season-ending ACL injury before the Cowboys' week three matchup against Arizona, an opportunity for DaRon Bland to step up once again arose.
After having to fill in at nickelback at the end of the 2022 season and excelling with that chance, Bland's number was called upon for the second year in a row – this time to man down the boundary for the rest of the season.
In his second game with his new responsibility, Bland had a career game that included two interceptions and a pick six that shifted the momentum to Dallas for good early in the third quarter.
"It's the top, definitely the top," Bland said about how Sunday's game ranks among his favorite NFL performances. "Two picks with a pick six, so that's definitely the top."
On his first interception, Bland took advantage of Mac Jones throwing across his body to the opposite hashmark – something that he got away with earlier in the game, but not this time around.
"On the first one, he came across to me and I didn't get him the first time," he said. "I couldn't let him get it again. The second one, I just saw the ball in the air. I saw the end zone again, but couldn't get there."
Knowing his role has served DaRon Bland incredibly well through 20 career games. Since the start of the 2022 season, no one in the NFL has more interceptions (8) than the young corner, but he's more focused on maintaining what was left by Trevon Diggs.
"You gotta get comfortable in the role, it's a big role to take over," he said. "I was just trying to fill his outside role. You have to know our defense, because everybody can move everywhere. I can play outside, I just had to make sure and not forget that part of it."
With Diggs out and what could be an overlooked Bland in place, he said he welcomes teams trying to test him and throw his way. As for today, it resulted in him walking away with arguably the biggest impact performance.
"I feel like that every week, I feel like the teams will try and test me," he said. "I just gotta do my job."