Browns defensive end Myles Garrett won his first ever Defensive Player of the Year Award at the NFL Honors on Thursday night, but his selection wasn't without controversy.
As droves of NFL fans have tried to point out through graphics on social media, Garrett's statistical numbers weren't as impressive as some of his pass rushing counterparts, most notably T.J. Watt from the rival Steelers.
Watt even took to social media himself to express his disagreement with the selection that night.
Nothing I’m not used to.— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) February 9, 2024
Garrett's win was more of a byproduct of the analytics that have invaded the NFL in recent years. Even though basic statistics weren't on part with Watt, metrics like pass rush win rate and how many times he faced multiple blockers in a game spoke to just how dominant Garrett was this season.
While Watt and Steelers fans may not be endorsing Garrett's win, the 28-year-old did find support from another finalist for the award. After coming to Garrett's defense on social media, Thursday, Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons doubled down on his support for the Browns star while making an appearance on CBS Sports Zach Gelb show.
"I thought it should have went to Myles, if not me, and I said that publicly," Parsons said. "It's just simple as that. Look at the Titans game alone. No offense but, T.J. played the Titans, did you see two tight ends following T.J. Watt? Did you see they're following him all across the line? People can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day the film does not lie. His presence is way more dominant that T.J. Watt."
Parsons finished third for the award behind both Garrett and Watt, earning seven first place votes and 89 total points. There is no denying that Garrett is a game wrecker and the tape showed that this season.
The trio of Garrett, Watt and Parsons are all game wreckers in their own right. Watt was rewarded for his presence as one of the league's best pass rushers in 2021 when he took home DPOY. He made a case to earn a second one this season too, but the voting committee simply felt Garrett deserved it more based on similar evidence Parson's mentioned.
The Garrett and Watt is a hotly debated topic every season, particularly between the two rival fan bases. Considering that the duo is in line for plenty more matchups, it's not going away anytime soon.