Could this be the precursor to the big prize?
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was named the NFL Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association after leading his team to 13-3 record, including a club-record 11-game winning streak.
Now with that award in his pocket, Garrett should be the favorite for AP NFL Coach of the Year honors, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl.
This is the first PFWA Coach of the Year honor for Garrett and the third Coach of the Year honor for the Dallas franchise. Tom Landry was the PFWA’s first Coach of the Year in 1966 and was the NFC Coach of the Year in 1975 (the PFWA selected separate AFL/NFL and AFC/NFC winners from 1967-89).
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Garrett led the Cowboys to a nine-game improvement from last season’s 4-12 record, the largest one-season turnaround in franchise history.
He did so despite losing quarterback Tony Romo for the first nine games of the season with a fractured bone in his back.
Garrett turned the keys of the team over to rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and never looked back.
No Cowboys coach has won more games in a season. He joined Jimmy Johnson and Wade Phillips in the 13-win club.
This was the second time Garrett has led the Cowboys to an NFC East title.
Garrett joins running back Ezekiel Elliott as a PFWA award recipient. Elliott was named the PFWA Rookie of the Year/Offensive Rookie of the year earlier this week.