J.J. Watt wins NFL Defensive Player of the Year award

J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans accepts the AP defensive player of the year award at the 5th annual NFL Honors at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (John Salangsang/Invision for NFL/AP Images)

J.J. Watt has won The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award for the third time.

It was not a unanimous selection for the Houston Texans defensive end, as it was last year - a first for the honor - but it was decisive. In tying Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor as the only players to take the award three times, Watt earned 37 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the NFL.

Rams tackle Aaron Donald received seven votes, followed by two Carolina Panthers: linebacker Luke Kuechly with four, cornerback Josh Norman with two.



Watt's superb fifth pro season for the AFC South champions included a league-high 17 1-2 sacks, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and general dominance.

Watt received the award Saturday night at NFL Honors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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