With Phil Dawson signing a one-day contract to retire with the Cleveland Browns, we take a look at his career in the Brown and Orange.
Phil Dawson is making a return to Berea six seasons after his career with the Cleveland Browns came to a close. However, Dawson is not returning to save the day as he did so many Sunday afternoons in the past. He is returning so that he can end his career the same way that it started, as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
How it all began.
Phil Dawson went undrafted in 1998 after his prolific career at the University of Texas. Dawson originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent before being waived, then he was later signed to the New England Patriots practice squad. The Cleveland Browns signed Dawson to their roster upon returning to the league in 1999. This time Dawson would win the job, and he spent the next 14 seasons as the Browns kicker.
Dawson by the numbers.
Even though the Browns didn’t enjoy much success during Dawson’s tenure, the kicker had a career worthy of their Ring of Honor. Dawson holds many of Cleveland’s records, most notably: 305 field goals made, highest career field goal percentage (84 percent), most field goals in a season (30), and field goals made in a game (6). Dawson’s 1,271 points scored trails only Hall of Famer Lou Groza in franchise history.
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Dawson’s biggest moments
On November 18th, 2007, in one of the craziest finishes to regulation in the history of the NFL, Dawson kicked a 51-yard field goal that was initially ruled no good. The ball went through the uprights and hit the support bar and bounced back through the goalposts onto the field of play. After much discussion, and with the Ravens already celebrating in the locker room, the refs determined that the kick was good and brought both teams back to begin the overtime period. Dawson also kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime. The Browns won 33-30 and a rule was implemented before the following season regarding the support and crossbars during field goals, the rule was dubbed the Phil Dawson rule.
On December 16th, 2007, during blizzard conditions against the Buffalo Bills, Dawson made two field goals (49, 35) in some of the worst weather you could imagine a football game being played. Aside from a safety, Dawson provided the only scoring on the day. The Browns won 8-0.
On November 17, 2008, on a Monday Night Football game in Buffalo, Dawson made five field goals including a 56-yard game-winner. The Browns won 29-27.
How Dawson will be remembered in Cleveland
During Dawson’s 14 years as a Cleveland Brown he became one of the franchise’s most beloved players, and still is to this day. To achieve that status as a kicker in Cleveland is no small feat. Dawson was our North Star, the one constant that we could count on every Sunday. To this day, anytime a kicker struggles or misses in a big moment, the fanbase starts the annual bring Phil back movement. That is a true testament to his connection with the fans.
Well Browns fans, we get our wish. Phil Dawson is finally coming back to join the Cleveland Browns. Even though it isn’t in the compacity that we wanted it to be for so long, he is finally home. Phil Dawson is and always will be a Cleveland Brown.