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Myles Garrett wins one of the Defensive Player of the Year awards

First time in his illustrious career with this distinction

Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

It was a long time coming.

After being one of the game’s best defensive players year in and yearout, Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett finally was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, given annually by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

The prestigious honor was a first for Garrett, despite being a holy terror in the league since 2017 as the NFL draft’s first overall player. Garrett has been selected to five Pro Bowls and named First Team All-Pro three times (2020, 2021, 2023), and Second Team All-Pro twice (2018, 2022).

It seemed like every year, Garrett was in the conversation for receiving this coveted distinction. Everything appeared to come together this season as the Browns won 11 games, were awarded the highest Wild Card seed, and played in their first playoff game since 2020.

The largest numbers this season for Garrett was the 14 sacks, 30 QB hits, and 63 pressures. He also had 16 starts, 42 total tackles, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three pass defenses, 12 run stuffs, and 17 tackles for loss with just three missed tackles.

For most of this season, Garrett was mentioned as a vital candidate for the award. His competition was LB Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt.

PFWA has given out this award since 1992. The Associated Press’ DPOY award has been in place since 1971 and has yet to be announced. The AP version is the one considered the official Defensive Player of the Year Award at the NFL Honors. Several weeks ago, Garrett was the recipient of the Pro Football Talk Defensive Player of the Year. No Browns player has won any of the three awards until this year.

Cleveland GM Andrew Berry stated on clevelandbrowns.com:

“I don’t think there’s a defender in the NFL that has the snap-to-snap impact that Myles does – run game, pass game, you name it. He totally dictates offense’s protections and game plans because he really is a game-wrecker if you leave him.”

While Garrett is certainly an All-World talent, it is not by coincidence that he won this achievement on two separate outlets in the same season in which the Browns hired Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator. Schwartz is famous for taking his defensive line members to an elite level. All season long Cleveland’s defense was ranked in the Top-5 of most categories and took the top spot in multiple classifications.

Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

He began this season as a total team player by agreeing to a restructuring deal that opened up needed capital for the salary cap.

Garrett just happens to be the only NFL player still active with 10 or more sacks in each of the past six seasons and became the seventh player in NFL history to record 10 or more sacks in a season in six consecutive seasons.

Garrett has 88.5 career sacks. His sack numbers have been: 7, 13.5, 10, 12, 16, 16, and 14.

Berry added:

“For us, seeing Myles from when we drafted them number one overall at Texas A&M and to see the work and effort that he’s put into it behind the scenes – obviously, everybody knows he’s talented – but we view him as a player who’s been dominant and super productive ever since he’s entered the league. So, just having a historically great player on a historically great defense and everything we were accomplished this year, with him being a huge part of it.”

Also regarding the awards doled out by Pro Football Talk, Schwartz was named the Assistant Coach of the Year.