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NFL Coach of the Year 2016: Award Winner, Voting Results and Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys looks on before the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 34-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2016-17 NFL Coach of the Year field was among the most crowded in recent memory, which left voters with a tough task.  

But when it came down to it, Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys secured the award Saturday night in Houston at the NFL Honors, beating out the likes of the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick, Oakland Raiders' Jack Del Rio and Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid: 

NFL @NFL

.@dallascowboys HC Jason Garrett is the 2016 Coach of the Year! #NFLHonors https://t.co/xzSx10fNvo

According to the Associated Press, Garrett received 25 of a possible 50 first-place votes. Belchick nabbed 14, while Miami Dolphins boss Adam Gase tallied six. Del Rio and Reid also got on the board with four votes and one vote, respectively. 

Ultimately, it's hard to quibble with Garrett's selection. 

Dallas' head coach helped the Cowboys tie a franchise record with 13 wins en route to the NFC's No. 1 seed and an NFC East title, and he oversaw an offense that experienced an awakening with rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. 

All told, the Cowboys finished the season ranked fifth in scoring (26.3 points per game), fifth in total offense (376.7 yards per game) and second in average rushing yards (149.8 yards per game). 

Behind that production, Dallas experienced an impressive nine-game uptick in the win column following a tumultuous 4-12 campaign in 2015. 

And as Sports Illustrated's Jonathan Jones noted: "He went from 4-12 to 13-3 in a year with a meddlesome and controversy-starting owner, a rookie quarterback, a rookie running back, a decent defense—all while dealing with benching a franchise quarterback."

Replicating that success in 2017 won't be easy, but Garrett has the talent at his disposal to keep the wins coming so long as Prescott and Elliott are able to stay healthy. 

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