Browns kicker Phil Dawson has made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 14-year NFL career, and Browns offensive left tackle Joe Thomas has been selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time in as many seasons.
“I was happy that Phil and Joe were recognized for having Pro Bowl seasons,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement. “Phil has been one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL throughout his career, and this year he was near-perfect, including many long-range field goals. I believe it is very appropriate that he is getting his due credit after 14 years in the league. Joe has established himself as one of the top left tackles in the game, and he has played at a very high level once again this year. He was a big part of the improvement that I felt we made as an offense.”
Dawson has made 28-of-29 field-goal attempts this season, and the only miss was blocked. He has made six field goals of 50 yards or longer, which ties him for first in the AFC and third in the NFL in that category. His career field-goal percentage of 84.2 is the highest in Browns history and seventh-best in NFL history. His field-goal percentage of 96.6 this season leads the AFC and is second in the NFL.
Thomas, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, has played all 95 games and hasn’t missed an offensive snap since joining the Browns. Thirteen of the 15 players who have made the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I think I feel I’m getting better every year and my best is still yet to come,” Thomas said today before the news broke. “So I still feel like I’ve got more in the tank, and hopefully next year will be better than this year and I’ll keep growing that pattern. Every year my goal is to play better than I did the year before, and I definitely think that definitely happened this year.”
Thomas also said he was pulling for Dawson to make the Pro Bowl.
“It’s always a little bit of a screwy thing when they come out with the Pro Bowl voting because there’s always people that you feel get snubbed that deserve it, and Phil’s been one of those guys in the past,” Thomas said. “Obviously he’s had a phenomenal year. One miss [this season] and it was a block, so you can’t play any better as a kicker. He’s definitely deserving.”
The Browns also had three players receive honors as alternates.
Josh Cribbs is a first alternate as a kick returner and special teamer. Cribbs won the fan vote – players and coaches also vote – among AFC special teamers.
Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and center Alex Mack are first alternates, too.
The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu and will be televised on NBC.