Dawson has opened on practice squad in his second NFL season ... Known in college at TCU as one of college football’s top defensive playmakers, he earned multiple All-American honors in 2014 and was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year ... Played in 11 games as a Bengals rookie last season.
Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in third round of 2015 NFL Draft (99th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 5-18-15 ... Waived by Bengals on 9-4-16 ... Signed to Bengals practice squad on 9-7-16.
2016 highlights: On practice squad for Games 1-4 ... Appeared in three preseason games, logging eight tackles.
Previous season: 2015—Played in 11 games (Games 1-6, 8, 12 and 14-16) and in Wild Card playoff ... Inactive for the other five contests ... Logged five tackles on defense plus a pass defensed, and had seven tackles (sixth on team) on special teams ... One tackle in brief defensive action in his NFL debut,
Sept. 13 at Oakland ... On Oct. 11 vs Seattle, prevented a potential long punt return by WR Tyler Lockett with a solo tackle at the Seattle 37 in first quarter ... Two tackles on defense and one special teams stop Dec. 6 at Cleveland ... Logged two tackles on defense and first career pass defensed on Dec. 20 at San Francisco ... One special teams stop on Dec. 28 at Denver, on Jan. 3 vs. Baltimore and in Wild Card playoff on 1-9-16 vs. Pittsburgh.
College: Not highly recruited out of high school, where he played WR, Dawson rose to status at TCU as one of nation’s top defensive playmakers after beginning college career in junior college ... Played three seasons (2012-14) at TCU after playing one year at Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas) ... Logged 241 tackles at TCU, earning multiple All-America honors in 2014 while being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year ... His 136 tackles led Big 12 in ’14 and were most in a season by any player in era of Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson (2000-present) ... Logged four INTs as a senior, including 46-yarder for TD that gave Frogs the eventual winning points in 37-33 conquest of Oklahoma.
Personal: Hometown is Dallas, Texas ... Attended Skyline High School, where he played wide receiver ... Also competed as hurdler on track team ... Majored in Criminal Justice at TCU ... Nickname of P.J. is short for Paul Jr.
Three years after plucking Pro Bowl WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict from the scrap heap of college free agency, the Bengals took Texas Christian linebacker Paul Dawson with the 99th and last pick of the third round, the Big 12 Player of the Year who ran a slow (4.93 seconds) in the 40-yard dash and saw his stock plummet. Sound familiar?