Cowboys' DaRon Bland's DPOY odds skyrocket after setting pick-six record

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys
Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys could have three finalists for end-of-season awards when all is said and done. Dak Prescott is ascending up the MVP leaderboard, while Micah Parsons and DaRon Bland are admissible candidates to win Defensive Player of the Year.

Parsons opened the season as the Defensive Player of the Year favorite. He's since taken a secondary position behind Myles Garrett, but a strong finish to the season could catapult Parsons past the Browns phenom.

Bland, meanwhile, has a lot of variables working against him.

It hurts that he plays cornerback and he wasn't even a household name until Halloween, or thereabouts. Fair or not, popularity matters and it wasn't until Thanksgiving that the nation realized he's worthy of winning the award.

As it turns out, making NFL history on Thanksgiving might have been the boost Bland needed to firmly enter the DPOY mix. Before he notched his record fifth pick-six of the season vs the Commanders, Bland was a distant +8000 to take home hardware.

This week, Bland's odds jumped to +1400, per BetMGM. On FanDuel, Bland has +1600 odds, so he's gained significant ground.

Cowboys' DaRon Bland's MVP odds soar after setting pick-six record

Would you look at that!

The fact Bland's odds improved by some +6600 in one week speaks volumes and suggests he's (finally) being taken seriously for the award. It was two months ago -- after his second pick-six vs the Patriots on Oct. 1 -- that Cowboys fans began advocating for Bland to enter the Defensive Player of the Year mix.

At this point, Bland's resume is undeniable. Setting the single-season record for pick-sixes with six games to go is one thing. Anytime a player makes history in their sport, he or she should automatically be considered for end-of-season accolades. That alone should give Bland a better-than-puncher's chance to win the award.

However, Bland also has some of the best coverage statistics of any CB in the league. His 91.2 coverage grade is first among corners who've played at least 300 coverage snaps, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Additionally, Bland's 36.9 passer rating allowed is second at the position and his 52.5% completion rate allowed is ninth.

There's also this absolutely mind-bending statistic from PFF's Sam Monson.

If that statistic isn't DPOY-worthy, then what is?

There's likely an assumption that Bland will taper off, while the pass rushers continue stockpiling sacks and pressures. It's totally reasonable that Bland goes a couple games without logging another INT, let alone a pick-six.

But if he makes a play or two (or three or four) in a big moment against a team like the Eagles, Dolphins or Bills, his odds will soar again.

The fact we're even talking about Bland winning DPOY is incredible. With six games to go, he has oodles of time to cement his case.

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