Dawson nailed all five extra-point attempts and his only field-goal try during Sunday's 38-33 victory against the Buccaneers. Through two-plus seasons, Dawson has had no trouble with the longer PAT, missing just two of them, with neither miss having come in 2017. Field goals have been another story, though. After missing one in each of his first three contests as a Cardinal, he's righted the ship with just one misfire (a blocked 51-yarder in Week 5) on six attempts over the last trio of outings. Nevertheless, he ranks only 23rd in scoring (6.8 points per game) among kickers with at least five appearances, likely due to Arizona's status as the 20th-most potent offense (19.8 points per game) of the current campaign.
Dawson has been successful on four of five field-goal attempts and all six extra points in three preseason appearances to date. The Cardinals stood by while Chandler Catanzaro made just 21 of 28 field goals last year, which, combined with four missed PATs, spurred the team to not extend a tender to the restricted free agent. At the same time, the front office signed Phil Dawson to fill one of the perceived weaknesses on the roster, and the veteran hasn't disappointed to date. Aside from a touchdown return on a short attempt of a 63-yarder in preseason Week 2 against the Bears, he's nailed his remaining four kicks, including the other two from 50-plus. Assuming his reliability extends into the regular season, Dawson could reach 100 points for the ninth time in his lengthy career as he finishes off drives in a Bruce Arians-coached offense.
Dawson will be given opportunities to attempt field goals from 50 yards and out, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "Phil is from 60 in and he always has been," head coach Bruce Arians said. "He's never lost any distance. He can still kick off. The yard-line just moves back. If we get to the (opposing team's) 40, it's probably going to be a field goal." Dawson languished in San Francisco the last two seasons, attempting just 48 field goals and finishing below 100 points each season. Arizona's offense is expected to present him more opportunities and his still-strong leg will get him a few more beyond that. During his career, Dawson has made 38 of 54 field goals from 50 yards and longer.
The Cardinals signed Dawson on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Dawson continues his nearly two-decade trek as an NFL kicker, joining the third organization of his career. He's been afforded the opportunity to replace Chandler Catanzaro, who connected on just 21 of 28 field goals last season. Falling below that mark (75 percent) twice in 18 campaigns, Dawson, a 84.5 percent career kicker, has missed just three tries in each of the past two campaigns. After having combined for 48 attempts over that span while kicking for the 49ers, Dawson's fantasy value could be in for a decent uptick in 2017, considering that Catanzaro recorded 59 attempts over his last two years in Arizona.
Dawson did not attempt a field goal, but he connected on all three extra points in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. Dawson's season fizzled out in the final weeks of the season, failing to attempt a field goal in the team's final three games. He is not to blame for the lack of opportunities as San Francisco's offense ranked near the bottom of the league. The 41-year-old proved he can still get the job done, hitting 18-of-21 field goal attempts, only missing from 40-plus yards. Despite his advanced age, Dawson will have suitors in the free agent market -- assuming he is not ready call it a career -- given the glaring inconsistency of today's kickers.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/22||@Los Angeles Rams||10||7.00|
|9||11/05||@San Francisco 49ers||31||10.83|
|13||12/03||Los Angeles Rams||10||7.00|
|16||12/24||New York Giants||25||8.33|