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Micah Parsons, DaRon Bland in running for Defensive Player of the Year award

Micah Parsons and DaRon Bland are on fire right now.

NFL: NOV 19 Cowboys at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After having the quietest game of his career against the New York Giants in Week 10, Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons bounced back in a huge way against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

According to PFF, Parsons had nine pressures, six QB hurries, 2.5 sacks, and a 40% pass-rush win rate against the Panthers. He was able to do this despite throwing up twice on the sidelines, after taking C4 energy powder before the game.

His 2.5 sacks on Sunday elevated his season total to 10. Parsons became the first player in Cowboys history to record double-digit sacks in his first three seasons in the league. Even when he was unable to complete the sack, Parsons was flying around the field all game. He was showcasing his elite athleticism and speed, putting rookie QB Bryce Young under duress the whole game.

Parsons wasn’t the only one on the Dallas defense to shine on Sunday, with CB DaRon Bland having another elite game. Bland recorded his fourth pick-six of the season, tying a single-season NFL record.

While Bland currently leads the league in interceptions (six) and interceptions returned for a touchdown (four), he has also been a shut-down corner in coverage. According to PFF, Bland is allowing just a 29.1 passer rating and has a coverage grade of 90.9, both ranking at the top among cornerbacks in the NFL. He also is allowing just 23.1 yards per game and has allowed just a single touchdown throughout the season.

Bland and Parsons are both continuing to build their case for the 2023 Defensive Player of the Year award. Many analysts may see an elite edge rusher such as Parsons, Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett, and Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt as the favorite to win the highly-touted award. However, Bland is having one of the better cornerback seasons in league history and has plenty of games left to boost numbers even higher.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and DB coach Al Harris have done a tremendous job developing and getting the best out of their stars this season. Having two DPOTY candidates on your team is a luxury that no other team currently had in the NFL.

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