After an overall down year in 2018, ex-Temple Owls offensive tackle Dion Dawkins is helping to lead a Buffalo Bills renaissance.
Granted, that moniker is up for debate, as we are gloriously in a bit of an Owls resurgence at the moment in the league, as there are 19 players spread across the NFL’s 32 teams, but I think it holds true.
For one, Dawkins made national headlines for a truly unique quote about Kraft Mac and Cheese – a viral moments that caused the company to literally change the recipe on the side of the box to capitalize on the free press.
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While this video alone is enough to make Dawkins, a 2017 second-round pick, a Temple all-timer, his performances on the field in 2019 have to come in at a close second.
Locked in as the Buffalo Bills‘ starting left tackle since midway through the 2017 season, Dawkins has led the way for the sixth, ninth, and fifth most prolific of rushing attacks in the league; setting blocks for stylistically varied runners like LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, and Devin Singletary.
As Philadelphia Eagles fans can attest, teams don’t typically become more effective at running the ball when they lose McCoy.
And yet, the Bills have, and Dawkins has been a big part of why the team is sitting pretty at 3-0.
After understandably taking a step back from their playoff form due to the addition of 2018 seventh overall pick Josh Allen – not to be confused with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jacksonville Jaguars‘ defensive end Josh Allen – the Bills have been on a roll under third-year head coach Sean McDermott, who Eagles fans may again remember for his decade-spanning tenure in the City of Brotherly Love from 1999-2010.
But Allen hardly makes Dawkins job easy.
With plus athleticism, a cannon for an arm, and a Brett Favre-esque pension for holding the ball and gun-slinging, Dawkins routinely has to keep up with his man for extended periods of time on the edge, and yet, through three games, he’s only allowed 1.5 sacks on 136 snaps.
After giving up eight sacks in 16 games in 2018, that’s a more than noticeable improvement.
While only time will tell how long the Bills renaissance will continue in Buffalo, as the team is set to face off against their division rival New England Patriots in Week 4, but after a formative tenure in North Philly, it’s safe to say Dion Dawkins has, and will continue to make fans of the Temple Owls proud for years to come.