Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/16/12
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- When he was a kid, Browns kicker Phil Dawson worshipped the Dallas Cowboys. In Texas, it's mandatory. "Unless you grow up in Houston," Dawson said. "The rest of the state is Cowboys and that's all you did was follow the Cowboys." And that he did. Like many boys growing up deep in the heart of the Lone Star state, where football and religion intersect, Dawson dreamed of one day wearing the Cowboys' royal blue and famed five-pointed star. He even decked out his bedroom into a pseudo shrine to America's Team. "I had a Doomsday Defense poster on my wall," Dawson said. "My high school years was the dynasty with the three Super Bowls. I was pretty spoiled as a football fan. My dad, we had season tickets, so I had a few stars sitting around the house and some good memories." Dawson hopes to add new ones Sunday, when the Browns (2-7) visit the Cowboys (4-5) in what will be a second homecoming in two weeks for the 37-year-old, who has been perfect so far this season. During the Browns' bye last weekend, Dawson returned to his alma mater of Texas and was inducted into the Longhorns' Hall of Honor, a tribute he's "still absorbing." It will be just Dawson's second game as a pro in Dallas, and his first visit inside 4-year-old Cowboys Stadium, the monstrous 1.3 billion marvel with its enormous high-definition TV screen, platforms of go-go dancers and retractable roof. Dawson can't wait. "I just hope they have the roof closed and it's a true dome game," said Dawson, who has made 23 straight field goals -- the NFL's longest current streak -- since last season. "It'll be fun to see it. I've driven by it. I haven't gone in it yet. But everyone I've talked to who's been in it says it's just ridiculous." The only drawback has been filling ticket requests for family and friends. Dawson expects around 30 supporters. "It's been growing every day," he said. "I'm about to close down the ticket office. I can't afford many more." He's not the only Browns player with Cowboy connections. Rookie running back Trent Richardson is hoping Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will be in attendance. From the same high school in Pensacola, Fla., where Richardson broke most of Smith's records, the two have developed a close relationship. Richardson speaks regularly to Smith, Dallas' iconic No. 22, for advice. "That's one person I said I always wanted to be like when I was growing up," said Richardson, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in two straight games despite still being slowed by a rib cartilage injury. "I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps and see if I can do better than how he did. That's big footsteps to follow." Richardson is trying to become the first Browns rookie to string together three straight 100-yard games, a feat even the great Jim Brown couldn't accomplish. 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." Good thing. So will Dru be allowed at Sunday's game? "Oh yeah," Dawson said. "No blue though."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy

Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

Panthers LB wants 'clown' Rodney Harrison off the air

Jason Reid: Tom Brady will play at least three more years

Kirk Cousins says he has ‘very good relationship’ with RG3

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker