Hailing from Texas University, Phil Dawson has entered his 14th season in the NFL. Surprisingly, all of them have been with the Cleveland Browns. Dawson is the last remaining player from the 1999 expansion Cleveland Browns. In the NFL world of free agency and trades, that is actually pretty impressive.
What’s more impressive than that is Dawson’s tolerance of six coaching changes, four GM changes, and soon to be new owner. But who am I kidding, those are all things completely out of his control. In the ever changing swirling winds of cold weather Cleveland, Dawson easily could take the crown as the best bad weather kicker in all of football. The 2007 “Blizzard Bowl” against the Buffalo Bills is all the proof you need to back that up.
In 2011 and 2012, the Browns chose to franchise Dawson and stop him from slipping away in free agency. With the anemic Browns offense, it was probably one of the smartest moves the club could make. Although Dawson has gotten older over the years, his right foot has become stronger.
During the miserable 2011 season in which the Browns finished 4-12, old reliable knocked down 8 field goals over 50 yards. In fact, anywhere inside of 50 yards is just about automatic for Dawson. In week one against the Philadelphia Eagles, he drilled three field goals all over forty yards. Last night’s 23-16 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, Dawson proved he is “money” once again. Cool, calm, and collect, Dawson buried 3 more field goals of 50,51, and 52 yards.
If you talk to any Browns fan out there, they will tell you nothing bad about #4 on the Cleveland Browns. In 2010, Dawson passed Lou Groza for the franchise record in field goals made. When you actually think about it, it’s really sad that Dawson has never witnessed a true winning season with the Browns. Even in 2007 with a 10-6 record, the Browns did not make the playoffs.
Coming from a stout Texas Longhorns college program, he by no means was used to losing consistently. For Dawson, he just goes about his business playing every game like it’s his own personal Super Bowl. With constant changes in quarterback,running back, wide receiver, and even a change in ownership, one thing is for sure, there will be no changes in place kicker. At least for now.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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