<> in Formula

I am counting rows (projects) in my intake sheet that meet one dropdown option, but dont meet another. (I want Project Status= Site Control Initiated, but Site Control Status does not equal to SCA Signed). I created a filter on the intake sheet to quickly see these, and the count shows 223 rows. However, when I created a formula in a metrics sheet to display this metric on a dashboard, I get 221.

The formula looks something like this:

=COUNTIFS({Project Status}, "Site Control Initiated", {SCA Status}, <>"SCA Signed")

And the Filter looks like this:

Show rows that match all conditions... Project Status is one of ["Site Control Initiated"], SCA Status is not one of: ["SCA Signed"].

There are 2 "Site Control Initiated" project rows that have a blank value in the SCA Status Column. The sum of their project sizes equals the difference between the 2 metrics.

There are many times that we just don't have a site control status chosen. I figured <> "SCA Signed" would include cells that are left blank too. What Can I do to update my formula so that it represents my metrics properly?

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