Jason Garrett led the Dallas Cowboys to the NFL’s best regular-season record and Reggie McKenzie guided the Oakland Raiders back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
For their efforts, Garrett was selected as coach of the year by the Professional Football Writers of America and McKenzie won the honor of top executive.
Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was named the assistant coach of the year by PFWA.
The coach of the year honor was Garrett’s first and the third for Dallas. Tom Landry was the PFWA’s first coach of the year in 1966 and was the NFC coach of the year in 1975.
Garrett’s Cowboys overcame the loss of veteran quarterback Tony Romo in the preseason and rode the rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to stardom. Dallas collected a franchise-best 11 straight wins during the season and wrapped up the NFC East title and the top seed in the conference.
The Cowboys’ second-ranked rushing offense (149.8 yards per game) helped the club tie the franchise record with 13 victories before being bounced in the divisional round of the playoffs by the Green Bay Packers.
McKenzie, who was hired as Oakland’s general manager in 2012, is the second member of the Raiders’ organization to earn the executive of the year award since it was established in 1993. Al Davis won the 2002 award.
The Raiders improved from 3-13 in 2014 to 7-9 the following year to 12-4 in 2016 under McKenzie’s watch.
Shanahan guided the top-ranked Falcons’ offense to a franchise-record 540 points and the NFC South title. He is the first Atlanta assistant to win the award, which was established in 1993.