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After 13 years of bad luck, Browns' Dawson weighs future

  • By Marc Sessler
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It would be like Frodo trudging halfway up Mount Doom, ring in hand but deciding to bag it, head home and cut the grass with his Hobbit lawnmower.

If things are (slowly) turning in Cleveland after a decade-plus of misfortune, veteran kicker Phil Dawson wants to be there to see it.

Dawson is the only player left from a relaunched Browns team that hit the scene with a thud in 1999, with next to nothing to celebrate since.

"I don't want to be Moses," Dawson told The Associated Press on Monday. "I don't want to lead the people right to the edge and not get to go in. There's going to be so many things, I can't prioritize them at this point. We just lost to the Steelers 20 hours ago and that still hurts. I need to get home and eat a burrito."

(When you play for the Browns, it's the small things in life.)

Cleveland (4-12) dropped six games by seven points or less, including its final three -- to Arizona, Baltimore and Pittsburgh -- by a total of 13, but "close" is only a matter of perspective to Dawson.

"We were in a lot of games. It's death by inches, though," he said. "Are we that close, or is that just the nature of the league? It depends on your personality, how you're going to view that. In my little world, if my plant foot misses the spot by a quarter-inch, I miss the kick."

Dawson rarely has missed in big spots with the Browns, and they'd like to keep him in their plans. In an age when losing teams are often abandoned by their star players, Dawson has remained a loyal piece of the puzzle on a team desperately searching for the Promised Land. Don't tell him he won't get there.


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