Jason Garrett was announced as the NFL Coach of the Year during Saturday's NFL Honors award show.
The Cowboys' 2016 season got off to a terrible start when quarterback Tony Romo went down down with a back injury in the preseason and it looked like the Cowboys were headed for a repeat of their 4-12 season from the previous year.
But the Cowboys were determined not to let the same set of adversities sink another campaign.
"There was a lot for all of us to learn from that experience, and we’re still learning," Jason Garrett said in October. "We were determined to come back in the early part of this offseason, build the team that could handle and withstand the adversities that are inevitable in the NFL. We’ve tried to do that and will continue to try to do that each and every day."
The Cowboys headed into the 2016 season with a rookie running back, a rookie fourth-round quarterback, a pass rush with no NFL pedigree, and a bunch of no-name players on defense.
But unlike the previous season, when the loss of Romo saw the Cowboys cave to a 4-12 record, Garrett's team rolled to an unlikely 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
This year's award is a testament to how far both Jason Garrett and the Cowboys have come since he took over as interim head coach halfway through the 2010 season. Over the last three seasons, the Cowboys have been to the divisional round of the playoffs twice, and despite their 4-12 record in 2015 have put together a 29-19 record, the eighth-best record over that span.
At the same time, the award also raises the stakes for Garrett and the Cowboys: expectations for 2017 are that the team reach at least the Conference Championships.
This is the first NFL Coach of the Year honor for Garrett and only the third NFL Coach of the Year honor for the Dallas franchise. Tom Landry was the NFL's Coach of the Year in 1966 and Jimmy Johnson was the NFL Coach of the Year in 1990.
This award is the second award Garrett has been honored with this year. In January, the Pro Football Writers Association announced that they had voted Garrett as the PFWA Coach of the Year for 2016.