After a bad loss in Week 3 to the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) got back on track on Sunday afternoon. Dallas earned their third blowout victory of the season, defeating the New England Patriots 38-3.
Dallas’ 35-point victory was the worst loss by the Patriots in Bill Belichick’s 24 years as New England’s head coach.
￼ ￼The #Cowboys 35-point victory makes the worst loss of Bill Belichick's HC career.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) October 1, 2023
Under Bill Belichick
Sun. -35<< Patriots at Cowboys
2003 -31 Patriots at Bills
2020 -29 Patriots Bills
Dallas’ offense moved the ball well, but the defense getting back to their dominant selves was the story of the game. After struggling so much to stop the run against the Cardinals last week, Dallas’ defense flipped the script on Sunday. The Patriots ran the ball 23 times for a total of just 53 yards, an average of 2.3 Y/A.
Dallas’ defense, for the third time this season, recorded the best EPA/Play (-0.478) of any defense in the league in Week 4. They also led the NFL in opponents success rate (30.9%) and rush rEPA (-0.442).
Plenty of players on Dallas’ defense were deserving of praise for their effort, but none more than 24-year-old cornerback DaRon Bland.
Bland, who I predicted in my bold predictions would have a big day, did just that. The second-year corner was the game’s true difference-maker, intercepting Patriots quarterback Mac Jones twice, including returning one to the house for a pick-six, his second of the season four weeks in.
Bland became the second Cowboy in the last 20 years to have two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same season.
Only 2 Cowboys in the last 20 years have two INT returns for TD in the same season. Diggs, and the guy now replacing him - DaRon Bland.— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) October 1, 2023
Bland’s two interceptions also gave him the most INTs in the league since the start of the 2022 season, an extremely impressive accomplishment.
Most interceptions in the NFL since the start of 2022:— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) October 1, 2023
1. DaRon Bland (DAL) ............... 8
2. Jessie Bates (ATL) ................. 7
3. Patrick Peterson (MIN) ........ 6
3. Justin Simmons (DEN) ......... 6
3. Minkah Fitzpatrick (PIT)....... 6
3. CJ Gardner-Johnson (PHI) .. 6
Without Trevon Diggs for the rest of the year the Cowboys are going to need other players in their secondary to step up and pick up the slack. 24-year-old DaRon Bland did just that on Sunday and looks like he is on the verge of becoming one of the better cornerbacks in all of football.