|No. 16, 18|
|Born:||June 20, 1935|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Alliance (Alliance, Ohio)|
|NFL Draft:||1957 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career professional statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Leonard Ray Dawson (born June 20, 1935) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for 19 seasons, primarily with the Kansas City Chiefs franchise. Dawson began his professional career in 1957 with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL and also played for the Cleveland Browns. He left the NFL in 1962 to sign with the AFL's Chiefs (then known as the Dallas Texans), where he spent the last 14 seasons of his career, and rejoined the NFL after the AFL–NFL merger.
Dawson led the Texans/Chiefs to three American Football League Championships (1962, 1966, 1969), and the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl IV, for which he won the game's MVP award. Dawson retired from professional football after the 1975 seasonand later served as the sports director at KMBC-TV in Kansas City and color analyst for the Chiefs Radio Network.
Dawson owned the Chiefs' single-season passing touchdown record, which he set in 1964 with 30 touchdowns in only 14 games, a record that stood until 2018, when Patrick Mahomes broke it. He still owns the Chiefs career passing yards, touchdowns, and wins records despite last playing in 1975, the NFL expanding to 16 game seasons, and the evolution into the NFL being a pass-dominated league. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Dawson was the ninth of 11 childrenof Ohio native James and England-born Annie Dawson. He attended Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. He was MVP of the football team and was named outstanding Ohio back of the year by the International News Service. A three-sport athlete, Dawson set school records in football and in basketball, and was the first athlete in 13 years to be named first-team all-state in both sports during the same year.
During the recruiting process, Dawson had to choose between Ohio State University in Columbus and Purdue University in Indiana. While he was reluctant to take over Woody Hayes' split-T offense with the Buckeyes, the true reason he selected Purdue stemmed from the rapport he had established with assistant coach Hank Stram, beginning a friendship that would last for more than a half-century.
As a sophomore in 1954, Dawson's first as Purdue quarterback, he was the NCAA's leader in pass efficiency, while also playing defense and serving as the team's kicker. Behind a strong offensive line, he threw four touchdown passes in a 31-0 victory over Missouri, then later engineered a huge upset of Notre Dame, which had entered the contest on a 13-game winning streak.
During three seasons (1954-1956) with the Boilermakers, Dawson threw for over 3,000 yards, leading the Big Ten Conference in that category during each year. He was named All-American (3rd Team) during the 1956 season. He was an All-Big Ten Quarterback during the 1955 and 1956 seasons.
While at Purdue, Dawson was initiated into the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft, but he was unable to make an impact with the team. Following his rookie season, his status with the team became even more tenuous when the Steelers acquired future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne early in the 1958 season.
Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns on December 31, 1959.However, after encountering similar problems in battling Browns quarterback Milt Plum, Dawson was released, having completed only 21 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns in his five seasons of NFL play.
Dawson signed with the American Football League's Dallas Texans on June 30, 1962. The move reunited him with Stram, who was beginning his third year as the Texans' head coach.
In 1962, Dawson led the league in touchdowns and yards per attempt, and was The Sporting News' selection as the AFL MVP. He also led Dallas to the first of three league titles in a thrilling double-overtime victory over the two-time defending champion Oilers in Houston. Dawson ran a ball-control offense in the 20-17 win, and tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to halfback Abner Haynes.
The team moved north to Kansas City and was renamed to the Chiefs in 1963.
A pinpoint passer, Dawson's mobility helped him flourish in Stram's "moving pocket" offense. He would win four AFL passing titles and was selected as a league All-Star six times, ending the 10-year run of the league as its highest-rated career passer. From 1962 to 1969, Dawson threw more touchdown passes (182) than any other professional football quarterback. In 1966, Dawson led the Chiefs to an 11-2-1 record and a 31-7 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFL Championship Game, earning his team the honor of representing the AFL in Super Bowl I, the first championship game between the AFL and their NFL rivals. The NFL champion Green Bay Packers won easily, 35-10, but Dawson performed fairly well, completing 16 of 27 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. Dawson was selected by his peers as a Sporting News 1966 AFL All-League player.
Though he threw for more than 2,000 yards in each of the previous seven campaigns, Dawson's 1969 season with Kansas City would be his most memorable because of his dramatic comeback from a knee injury suffered in the season's second game. The injury was first feared to be season-ending, but after missing five games, Dawson went on to lead the Chiefs to road playoff victories over both the defending champion New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. He then capped his year with MVP accolades in Super Bowl IV, the last game ever played by an American Football League team. In the game, Dawson paced the Chiefs to a win over the NFL's heavily favored Minnesota Vikings by completing 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, and rushing for 11 yards. The performance was especially notable given that Dawson had been mistakenly linked to a gambling scandal (by an unrelated gentleman who was named Donald Dawson) in the days leading up to the game.
On November 1, 1970, the Chiefs led the Oakland Raiders 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. Facing third and long, a run by Dawson apparently sealed victory for the Chiefs, but as Dawson lay on the ground, he was speared by Raiders’ defensive end Ben Davidson, who dove into Dawson with his helmet, provoking Chiefs’ receiver Otis Taylor to attack Davidson. After a bench-clearing brawl, offsetting penalties were called, nullifying the first down under the rules in effect at that time. The Chiefs were obliged to punt, and the Raiders tied the game on a George Blanda field goal with eight seconds to play. Taylor’s retaliation against Davidson not only cost the Chiefs a win, but Oakland won the AFC West with a season record of 8-4-2, while Kansas City finished 7-5-2 and out of the playoffs.
Dawson announced his retirement in May 1976, shortly before turning 41.Dawson ended his career in 1975, having completed 2,136 of 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, with 181 interceptions. He also gained 1,293 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns in his career.
In 1966, while still playing for the Chiefs, Dawson became sports director at KMBC-TV in Kansas City. On March 16, 2009, Dawson announced he would step down from anchoring on a nightly basis but would still report for KMBC during the Chiefs football season and would fill in when other anchors were on leave.
From 1977 to 2001, Dawson hosted HBO's Inside the NFL . He also worked as an analyst for NBC's AFC coverage from 1977 to 1982. From 1985 to 2017, Dawson was the color analyst for the Chiefs' radio broadcast team. In 2012, Dawson was honored with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for his longtime contributions as a sports broadcaster.
In 1979, Dawson was enshrined in the Chiefs Hall of Fame,followed by induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and Purdue's Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2008, he was awarded the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award.
In 2006, Dawson was interviewed for the NFL Network documentary America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions chronicling the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs season.
Dawson teamed with Depend in 1998 to encourage men to visit their doctors and to be screened for prostate cancer.
Dawson presented the New Orleans Saints and another Purdue quarterback, Drew Brees, with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after their victory in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.
Dawson was married to his high school sweetheart, Jackie, from 1954 until her death in 1978 at age 42 following a stroke the previous year.He has two grown children, Lisa Anne and Len Jr. Dawson is now married to his second wife, Linda, and they live in Kansas City.
Dawson is the seventh son of a seventh son, born the ninth of 11 children overall.
In 1991, Dawson was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
|TSN NFL MVP/POTY|
|Super Bowl MVP|
|AFL & Super Bowl champion|
|Led the league|
The First AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, known retroactively as Super Bowl I and referred to in contemporaneous reports, including the game's radio broadcast, as the Super Bowl, was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The National Football League (NFL) champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 35–10.
Super Bowl IV, the fourth and final AFL–NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, was played on January 11, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the National Football League (NFL) champion Minnesota Vikings by the score of 23–7. This victory by the AFL squared the Super Bowl series with the NFL at two games apiece as the two leagues merged into one after the game.
Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. Nicknamed "Joe Cool" and "the Comeback Kid", he spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for his final two seasons, and he led that franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Daryle Pasquale Lamonica is a former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) for 12 seasons, primarily with the Oakland Raiders. He spent his first four seasons mostly as a backup for the Buffalo Bills, who selected in the 24th round of the 1963 AFL Draft. Lamonica played his next eight seasons as the primary starter of the Raiders, including after they joined the NFL through the AFL–NFL merger.
Henry Louis Stram was an American football coach. He is best known for his 15-year tenure with the Dallas Texans / Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL).
For its first nine seasons, 1960 through 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions.
Jack Ross "Jacky" Lee was an American quarterback who played professional football in the American Football League for all ten of its seasons (1960–1969). After playing football, baseball, and basketball at Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio, he played college football at the University of Cincinnati. In 1958–1959, Jacky Lee was the team MVP and an All Conference Quarterback. In 1960, he was MVP of the Senior Bowl.
The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 48th season overall and their 46th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.
The 1969 Kansas City Chiefs season was the team's tenth, their seventh in Kansas City, and also their final season in the American Football League. It resulted in an 11–3 record and a 23–7 victory in Super Bowl IV over the NFL's heavily favored Minnesota Vikings. The team beat their rivals, the Oakland Raiders in the final AFL Championship Game, claiming their third AFL Championship in franchise history. The Chiefs were coached by Hank Stram, led by quarterback Len Dawson and a powerful defense led by Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Johnny Robinson and Curley Culp. The Chiefs' defense became the fourth defense in the history of pro football to lead its league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards. The Chiefs were the second AFL team to win the Super Bowl and last AFL team to do so before the AFL-NFL Merger in the following season.
31 quarterbacks have started for the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs since their franchise began. The team has also had numerous backup quarterbacks that have stolen the spotlight from the starters.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football franchise that began play in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. The team was a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), and now play in the National Football League (NFL).
Frank H. Pitts is a former professional American football wide receiver in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He played ten seasons for the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs (1965–1969) and then the NFL's Chiefs (1970), Cleveland Browns (1971–1973) and Oakland Raiders (1974).
The 1969 American Football League playoffs was the postseason of the American Football League for its tenth and final season in 1969. For the first time, the ten-team league scheduled a four-team postseason, consisting of the top two teams from the two divisions. The division champions hosted the second place teams from the other division; both Western division teams won and advanced to the league championship game, with the winner advancing to play the NFL champion in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans on January 18, 1970.
The 1966 American Football League Championship Game was the seventh AFL championship game, played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, on January 1, 1967.
The 1966 Kansas City Chiefs season was the team's seventh season and fourth in Kansas City. With an 11–2–1 regular season record, the Chiefs won the Western Division and defeated the Buffalo Bills to win their second AFL Championship, their first in Kansas City.
The Chiefs–Raiders rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders. The rivalry between the Chiefs and Raiders is considered to be one of the NFL's most bitter rivalries. Since the American Football League (AFL) was established in 1960, the Chiefs and Raiders have shared the same division, first being the AFL Western Conference, and since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, the AFC West.
Otis Taylor is a former American college and professional American football player, for Prairie View A&M University and the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 215 pounds, Taylor possessed sure hands during his career and served as a devastating downfield blocker, springing Chiefs running backs for many long runs.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) West division.
The 1969 AFL Championship Game was the tenth and final championship game of the American Football League, and the league's final game prior to its merger with the National Football League on February 1, 1970.
Patrick Lavon Mahomes II is an American football quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He initially played college football and college baseball at Texas Tech University. Following his sophomore year, he quit baseball to focus solely on football. In his junior year, he led all NCAA Division I FBS players in multiple categories including passing yards and total touchdowns. He then entered the 2017 NFL Draft where he was the tenth overall selection by the Chiefs.