Len Dawson
Quarterback, 1962-75
University of Purdue
Chiefs Hall of Fame (1979)
Pro Football Hall of Fame (1987)

Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Len Dawson
Although Len Dawson ranks among the elite forward passers of all time with an 82.56 rating compiled over 19 seasons of pro play, he is perhaps best remembered for his courageous performance in leading the Chiefs to a 23-7 upset of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Dawson connected on 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards in the now-historic game, and his 46-yard pass completion to Otis Taylor wrapped up the surprise victory that evened the AFL-NFL portion of the Super Bowl series at two wins each. Dawson was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

A No. 1 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, the former Purdue sharp-shooter struggled through five seasons as a seldom-used backup with the Steelers and the Cleveland Browns before finding his niche with the Dallas Texans of the American Football League in 1962. He paced the Texans, who became the Kansas City Chiefs the next year, to their first AFL championship in a double overtime victory over the Houston Oilers. He was also the chief architect of Kansas City titles in both 1966 and 1969 that led to his participation in Super Bowls I and IV.

Noted for his calm, poised approach to every situation, the 6-0, 190-pound Dawson was often lauded by his coach, Hank Stram, as "the most accurate passer in pro football." His record adds credence to that contention. Dawson, who was born June 20, 1935, in Alliance, Ohio, won four AFL individual passing crowns in 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1968.

He was selected to play in six AFL All-Star games and the 1972 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. An All-AFL selection in both 1962 and 1966, he was named the AFL Player of the Year in 1962. During his career, he completed 2,136 of 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,293 yards before retiring after the 1975 season.

Len Dawson's Career Statistics
Year
Team
Att
Comp
Comp%
Yds
Avg
TD
Int
Rating
1957
Pitt
4
2
50
25
6.3
0
0
69.8
1958
Pitt
6
1
16.7
11
1.8
0
2
0.0
1959
Pitt
7
3
42.9
60
8.6
1
0
113.1
1960
Cle
13
8
61.5
23
1.8
0
0
65.9
1961
Cle
15
7
46.7
85
5.7
1
3
47.2
1962
Dal
310
189
61.0
2759
8.9
29
17
98.3
1963
KC
352
190
54.0
2389
6.8
26
19
77.5
1964
KC
354
199
56.2
2879
8.1
30
18
89.9
1965
KC
305
163
53.4
2262
7.4
21
14
81.3
1966
KC
284
159
56.0
2527
8.9
26
10
101.7
1967
KC
357
206
57.7
2651
7.4
24
17
83.7
1968
KC
224
131
58.5
2109
9.4
17
9
98.6
1969
KC
166
98
59.0
1323
8.0
9
13
69.9
1970
KC
262
141
53.8
1876
7.2
13
14
71.0
1971
KC
301
167
55.5
2504
8.3
15
13
81.6
1972
KC
305
175
57.4
1835
6.0
13
12
72.8
1973
KC
101
66
65.3
725
7.2
2
5
72.4
1974
KC
235
138
58.7
1573
6.7
7
13
65.8
1975
KC
140
93
66.4
1095
7.8
5
4
90.0
Totals
3,741
2,136
57.1
28,711
7.7
239
183
82.6
Postseason
188
107
56.9
1,497
8.0
7
8
77.1