Dawson has made 14 of 15 tries from 50-plus yards over the past two seasons. He has made 13 of 14 tries from 40 to 49 yards over that span.
2008-2012 Field Goal Percentages
Akers, possibly diminished after undergoing hernia surgery, made 9 of 19 tries from 40 yards or longer last season. The 49ers reaped savings under the salary cap by releasing him this offseason.
Dawson turned 38 in January. While his addition does not preclude the 49ers from using one of their league-high 14 draft choices to add competition at the position, Dawson would be a heavy favorite to emerge as the 49ers' kicker in 2013 based on his credentials.
Dawson ranked 25th in kickoff touchback rate (39 percent) last season, lower than Akers (46.0) and the NFL average (44.1). Weather could have been a factor some of the time. Dawson had 14 kickoffs when the listed temperature was below 40 degrees, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That figure ranked tied for third-most in the NFL behind Mason Crosby (25) and Josh Brown (17).
Dawson has made 9 of 10 field-goal tries over the past three seasons when the temperature was beneath 40. That included his lone attempt from 50-plus yards.
Brad Seely, the 49ers' special-teams coach, was with Dawson in Cleveland previously.