For Dawson, Sunday's game is a chance to continue what has been a personally sublime 14th NFL season.
He's made all 17 field-goal tries and is 16 of 16 on extra points. Dawson is the lone kicker in the league with more than nine attempts who hasn't missed. In his previous game, Dawson accounted for all of Cleveland's points by kicking five field goals in a 25-15 loss to Baltimore.
Ever humble, and mindful of a kicker's fragile existence, Dawson didn't want to make much of his impressive nine-game run.
"We're off to a good start," he said. "I certainly don't want to diminish that, but there's still seven games to go. So I could screw this whole thing up pretty quick. I like where I am right now, but I'm only as good as my next kick, and the last thing I want to do is to go home to my hometown and poop the bed, so to speak."
So much of Dawson's youth revolved around the Cowboys and trips to their former stadium in Irving, Texas.
He attended high school games there with his father, Robert, an accountant who pointed out football's innate beauty to his son. On Sundays, Dawson would carry books with him to Cowboys games, though he would rarely crack any open, preferring to learn more about Tom Landry's "flex defense" than the Revolutionary War.
"I learned the game from my dad and a lot of that was sitting there watching Cowboy games," Dawson said. "He taught me a few things and helped me look at things and explain things. Those were some good memories."
Dawson's children will be at Sunday's game. He and his wife, Shannon, have kept their three kids in school in Texas, a separation that has been hard on Dawson. They were all together last week in Austin for his enshrinement, and the Dawsons will gather again to watch dad try to beat the Cowboys.
He has spent his entire career in Cleveland, so surely his house is free of any Cowboys paraphernalia.
"I'll go with that," he said, cracking a smile.
Dawson confessed that his oldest son, Dru, has a Cowboys bedroom like he had.
"His bedroom is blue," Dawson said. "He's got the star, the NFL emblem, he's got the stadium. I don't know if he has any of the players. He has the mural type stuff all over the place. And then there's obviously Browns helmets."
So will Dru be allowed at Sunday's game?
"Oh yeah," Dawson said. "No blue though."
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