Phil Dawson kicked for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017 and 2018, his last two in the NFL
It was apparent last season when he was struggling with injuries with the Arizona Cardinals that kicker Phil Dawson was soon to be former kicker Phil Dawson. On Friday, he made it official, after 20 seasons in the NFL, Dawson retired.
Dawson retired after a one-day contract with the team he entered the league with, the Cleveland Browns. He spent his first 14 seasons from 1999-2012 with the Browns.
After the Browns, he moved on to the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent four seasons. Then he finished out his last two seasons with the Cardinals.
At times it seemed like Dawson struggled however his numbers weren’t horrible in Arizona. He was 37-48 in field goals, including 4-6 from 50-plus yards.
He made all 15 of his extra points in 2018 but missed three big ones in 2017. However it was becoming evident last season the Cardinals were going to move on.
They brought in competition for him last year in training camp in Matt McCrane. Some believed that McCrane was the better kicker in camp and should have won the job.
McCrane did eventually get a shot with the Cardinals later in the season after being released by the Oakland Raiders. Dawson got hurt, so they called on McCrane.
That didn’t last long and in they brought Zane Gonzalez when it was clear a change was necessary. Gonzalez did a good job at the end of the 2018 season.
Dawson however spent 20 quality years in the league. He finished his career just under 84 percent accuracy at 83.8 percent (441-526).
The Browns were a class act on Friday, allowing him to retire with the team Dawson said was home. He may not have been a Brown for the past six seasons but this was clearly the right thing to do here.
While certainly we would have loved a different ending to the Dawson-era in Arizona, let’s all thank and congratulate him on a career well done. Here’s to you Phil Dawson, enjoy retirement!