Cleveland Browns kicker
When the Browns face the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboy Stadium Sunday, Dawson will play his second career game in his hometown. Dawson grew up in Dallas and attended to Lake Highlands High School, where he was both a kicker and offensive tackle.
“I know all my family and friends will enjoy it and that’s fun for me, however, once I land, it’s a work trip,” Dawson said. “I’ve got all offseason to enjoy friends and family and being home. I’ve got a job to do this weekend, so I probably won’t enjoy it the way they will, but it’s always special to go back to where you grew up playing.”
Living in Dallas, Dawson grew up a Cowboys fan and saw the likes of quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin help bring home three Super Bowl championships in a four-year period from the 1992-95 seasons.
“I was pretty spoiled with a lot of winning, a lot of championships,” Dawson said. “It was a special place to grow up. Football is king down there and when the Cowboys were winning, the city was just going (crazy). It was a lot of fun, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to get a Super Bowl here in Cleveland because it would just be off the charts.”
Although it will be a return home for Dawson, he plans on approaching Sunday’s game as a business trip.
And business has been good for Dawson through the first nine games of the season. He has converted all 17 of his field goal attempts and is nine of nine from 40 or more yards. He is four of four on field goals of at least 50 yards, including the three he converted against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 27 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Since the start of the 2011 regular season, Dawson has converted a league-best 11 of 12 attempts from 50 or more yards, including seven made kicks in 2011. He enters Sunday’s game riding a streak of 23 straight field goals made, the second-longest of his career.
Browns coach Pat Shurmur credited Dawson’s success to the way he prepares himself throughout the week.
“He approaches practice with the same intensity that he does the game,” Shurmur said. “I know for a fact that he tries to re-create the kicks in practice like they’re going to happen in the game -- how he does it emotionally, mentally and whatnot. He just tries to re-create it in practice so it happens in the game.
“I think he’s one of the outstanding kickers in this league. I’m fond of the way he practices; I’m fond of the way he prepares and he’s just clutch. There are some guys that are just clutch at doing what they do and I think that’s what separates some guys from being great to good to not so good. He’s displayed, by producing the way he does, that he’s one of the great kickers.”
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