Thanksgiving Day pick-six scores DaRon Bland spot in Canton

Exhibits Published on : 12/11/2023

Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland set the NFL single-season record on Thanksgiving Day with his fifth pick-six of the year. After intercepting Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell and discarding numerous would-be tacklers, Bland returned the interception 63 yards to the end zone. 

“On that play, I saw the ball, saw the receiver run an out-route, and I just had to go get it,” Bland said. “And then, all I saw was open field.”

The previous week, in the Cowboys’ Week 11 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, the second-year player had tied Eric Allen (1993), Ken Houston (1971) and Jim Kearney (1972) for the NFL record with his fourth pick-six this season. Bland recorded the record-breaking pick-six in his 11th game this season. 

His pick-sixes include returns of 63, 54, 30, 30 and 22 yards. 

“Every time the ball goes in the air, I go back to my offensive ways,” Bland continued. “Trying to get the ball and see what I can do with the ball in my hands."

Bland mentioned in the postgame interview that he played offense when he first picked up football and played receiver in middle school. 

Featured in the “Pro Football Today Gallery” at the Hall are Bland’s game-worn cleats and gloves from his record-breaking performance. 

Bland kept the ball he intercepted to set the record and said it will end up in his personal trophy case.