|Years in the NFL
Excellence on the Field:
Dion Dawkins is an Offensive Tackle for the Buffalo Bills. Dion was one of the three AFC offensive tackles selected to play in the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas. Throughout his six-year career with the Buffalo Bills, Dion has started 81 out of the 87 games he's played. Dion played college football at Temple University and was drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Playing a key role on the Bills offensive line, Dion has started and protected the blind-side of his quarterback at an elite level. Dion's versatility on the front extends to his pass catching ability in goal-line sets with the team, accumulating two touchdown catches in his short career. He continues to improve and bring toughness to a young team looking to take the next step in the NFL postseason. During Dion's collegiate career, he started 41 of 44 career games and was named to the First-Team All-American Athletic Conference. Leading up to the draft, Dion was named the Senior Bowl's top offensive lineman and the fourth best tackle of eligible draft prospects. Dion is known for his fun personality and enthusiasm on and off the field.
Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:
After the dust settled from the devastating mass shooting that took place on May 14th, 2022, at Tops Market in East Buffalo, Dion Dawkins and other Buffalo Bills players stepped in to join their neighbors and help the city recover. In the months that followed, Dion went above and beyond to support the affected families and community. Shortly after the tragedy, Dion hosted a cornhole and a kickball tournament to raise money for the victims. The proceeds exceeded $20,000 and were donated to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund and the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund. With his focus on providing mentorship and support to the youth community, Dion surprised a young boy at his birthday party who lost his father in the shooting just days before. Dion grieved with the community through a heartfelt article he wrote for The Players' Tribune that addressed the resilience and strength of the City of Buffalo and its people. Since the shooting, Dion continues to advocate for change and support the underserved communities with the resources they need. This season, Dion hosted two teacher appreciation events, and participated in the Huddle for Hunger health and wellness day for students in the East Buffalo community. In the wake of the pandemic and mass shooting, Dion focused on providing meals and supplies for families and children facing food insecurities. In the Spring and Summer of 2022, Dion held three food drives in East Buffalo, Rahaway, and Philadelphia. Dion's commitment to making a difference goes well beyond the Buffalo community. As a part of the NFL's 2022 Inspire Change Campaign, Dion hosted a roundtable discussion with teammates and Buffalo Bills franchise legends. The discussion focused on the mass shooting in Buffalo, racial injustice and how to prevent tragedy from repeating itself. During the NFL's 2021 Inspire Change Campaign, Dion shared why it's important to address the criminal justice system and the barriers to opportunity and equality. Dion is a member of the Buffalos Bills Player Community Leadership Committee. The committee distributes grants from the Buffalo Bills Social Justice Fund to organizations in our community. Over the past six years with the Buffalo Bills, Dion has always been the first to sign up for a community event. Dion actively participates in both NFL and organizational initiatives, such as the Play 60 Challenge, Salute to Service Military and Veteran Appreciation, Crucial Catch Cancer Awareness, Inspire Change Social Justice Awareness, and additional community support events. Dion's energy is contagious, and he brings light and positivity to all the organizations and individuals the Buffalo Bills collaborate with.
Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:
Since his rookie season in 2017, Dion has prioritized his community involvement and efforts with the Buffalo Bills and NFL initiatives. Dion's first event with the Buffalo Bills was the Play 60 Ultimate Field Day hosted for season ticket holders and community partners. Six seasons later, Dion continues to participate in the Play 60 Challenges, football clinics and other youth programs. The 2017 rookie class hosted three events as a part of the Toyota Rookie Club initiative. The players took Buffalo Public School students to Fright World Haunted Houses, visited the Delevan-Grider Community Center after-school program, and hosted a holiday party for over 100 children from various community organizations at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Festival of Lights. After his first season, Dion continued to participate in almost every "Bills Community Tuesday." Starting in 2018, Dion served as a Classroom Champion Athlete Mentor. For the NFL's Salute to Service initiative in 2018, Dion joined veterans at the SPCA of Erie County to learn more about the Paws and Patriots program. Dion also accompanied 50 veterans on a special Buffalo/Niagara Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. During the 2019 season, Dion got involved with the NFL's Inspire Change initiative. He participated in the Outreach Day at the Matt Urban Human Services Center and visited the Lights On! Pep Rally at East Buffalo Highschool. Dion participated in the 2020 and 2021 NFL Inspire Change campaign through discussions focused on racial injustice and the criminal justice system. When the world as we knew it came to a halt during the 2020 pandemic, Dion continued to prioritize community engagement. He spent time virtually visiting patients at John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, filmed at-home workouts to promote activity in quarantine, offered virtual cooking classes and virtually hosted the M&T flag football clinic. In 2021, Dion and other players hosted the first High School Girls Flag Football Kickoff Event with 19 teams from across the WNY region. Since the mass shooting in the Spring of 2022, the Buffalo Bills organization and the Dion's Dreamers Foundation have shifted its focus on providing resources and opportunity for the Buffalo's East Side community.
Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:
Dion started the Dion's Dreamers Foundation with the goal of providing mentorship and support to young men and women in underserved communities, as well as those in a place of mental, financial or physical hardship. Dion's Dreamers aims to advocate for vulnerable populations by increasing awareness of the environmental issues that directly affect their communities. The Dion's Dreamer Foundation hosts several annual events around Buffalo in efforts to connect and give back to the local community. On July 16th of 2021 and 2022, Dion hosted Summer Shnowfest, a community block-party with various vendors and local small businesses in celebration of Buffalo's 716 Day. For the past two years, Dion has also participated in the annual Halloween on Hertel event held in North Buffalo. The foundation organizes a meet and greet at the local movie theater and provides free tickets to families. Dion's Dreamers also held a Thanksgiving Giveaway last year, providing families with warm and canned food, fresh vegetables, and sanitation supplies. This past winter, the foundation partnered with Buffalo's Explore and More Children's Museum and provided free admission to the families that attended the Shnowy Winter Wonderland at Buffalo's Canalside. In the 2021 season, Dion teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help kids in Western New York through Dion's Dreamers 'Touchdowns for Dreamers' Campaign. Dion pledged $100 for every touchdown the Bills scored and encouraged fans to make the pledge too. The 2021 proceeds helped underprivileged youth obtain sporting equipment, art supplies and school supplies. This past September, Dion was featured on the Champions for Change segment with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The feature discussed how Dion's support of the Buffalo community helped ease heartbreak in the wake of the deadly mass shooting and how he continues to set an empowering tone across some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods. The Buffalo Bills are proud to select Dion Dawkins as their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.