CLEVELAND—One of the banners blowing in the breeze at Cleveland Browns Stadium was one that said “Dawson for President.”
With the presidential election being held in just two days, there are some Browns fans who might cast their ballot the Browns kicker as a write in candidate.
“I don’t think I’m electable,” Dawson said with a smile.
However, if an election was held for the Browns Most Valuable Player it would be hard to argue against Dawson being the landslide winner.
In the blustery conditions of the stadium, Dawson booted five field goals to account for all of the Browns scoring in the 25-15 loss to the Ravens. After the Ravens scored touchdowns on their first two drives to build a 14-0 lead, the Browns scored five-straight Dawson field goals to take a 15-14 lead with 8:48 to play in the game.
“For a while there, it looked like five might be enough,” Dawson said. “Sometimes, like last week, we didn’t try (a field goal) and we got the win. I’d trade (five field goals) any day for a win.”
Dawson hit from 32-, 28-, 29-, 33- and 41-yards. Unfortunately, the Browns were in the red zone four of the five times and did not score one touchdown. Just before Dawson’s final field goal, Brandon Weeden hit Josh Gordon on a slant for an apparent 18-yard touchdown, but an illegal formation call on Chris Ogbonnaya negated the score, forcing the fifth field goal.
Dawson said the swirling winds made all the attempts tough.
“I have to give the guys up front credit. I was just trying to get it through today,” Dawson said. “There was no such thing as an easy kick today.”
Dawson, 37, is perfect on the season thus far going 17-of-17 on field goals on the season, including 4-of-4 from 50 plus yards. He is 16-of-16 on PATs to lead the team with 67 points.
Despite having a great day, Dawson actually holds the Browns record with six field goals in a game on Nov. 5, 2006 at San Diego. He also has had five field goals in a game two other times. Matt Stover and Don Cockroft are the only other kickers to have five field goals in a game in Browns history.
Still Dawson, the only remaining Browns player who started with the team in 1999 keeps things in perspective.
“I was undrafted and feel like I’m one missed kick from losing my job,” he said. “That will be my attitude until I quit playing.”
That’s hard to believe, but Dawson has been playing under a one-year franchise contract the past two seasons and would be an unrestricted free agent after this season, if he isn’t franchised once again.
He is on pace to break all Browns scoring records in about 1 ½ seasons.
However, Dawson has seen the Browns lose tough games way too many times, but believes the Browns will find a way to turn it around.
“We were in this to the end,” Dawson said. “We took two quick blows and I told the guys the ‘old’ Browns would’ve folded up.
“But, you are what you are in this league,” he said. “They don’t hand out ribbons for showing up. There are no prizes for being close. The bottom line is we lost.”
But not because of Phil Dawson.